EC-OG switched on its Subsea Power Hub (SPH) for the first time on April 13th, 2017). The ocean current energy conversion system was successfully installed and is now fully operational. The unit, which is being tested at the European Marine Energy Centre’s (EMEC’s) Shapinsay Sound test site, is currently performing in line with technical predictions. The next step is to leave the SPH running 100% autonomously with wireless data monitoring over the summer months.
The Subsea Power Hub is a ground-breaking turbine system which harnesses the energy within ocean currents to produce autonomous electrical power for multiple applications. This new technology, patented by EC-OG, provides autonomous power to subsea infrastructure, reducing cost through efficient installation and removing the capital expenditure associated with electrical cables.
The Subsea Power Hub is a delta array of turbines or Ocean Generation modules. In simple terms, each module is an underwater battery unit with integral charger. Each module consists of a turbine, generator, battery pack, and electrical conditioning system.
There are a number of benefits with the use of the Subsea Power Hub including:
- Guaranteed localized power thanks to an integrated intelligent energy storage system
- Reduced vessel time and cost through simple installation
- Flexibility in location – overtrawlable and low cut-in speed
- Reduction in mobilization costs as the system is road transportable
- Easy maintenance with retrievable cartridges
- Reduced failure risk with on demand health monitoring system
The current phase of testing validates the technical capability of the system which has been designed to fulfill the need for cost-effective and reliable subsea power.
Robert Cowman, Engineering Director at EC-OG, commented, “Although the weather was not on our side, we were still able to successfully complete the installation and commence testing ahead of schedule. The system is performing very well and I’m pleased at how quickly the results are correlating with the theoretical basis for the test. Having a vertical axis turbine, means that the SPH is operating effectively in these unpredictable, sporadic flow conditions.”