Presentation to the Engineering Integrity Society | 08-DEC-10

In Sept 09, IT Power presented at the Engineering Integrity Society’s Durability and Fatigue Advances in Wind, Wave and Tidal Energy conference in Bristol, UK. The event provided a platform for explaining the technology to an audience of key stakeholders in this area of the emerging tidal technology market, as well as gathering information on similar and competing products and handing out TidalSense flyers. Key learning points from the conference: • Non-destructive testing (NDT) will continue to play a large role in the inspection of onshore and offshore wind energy technology. This demand is beginning to emerge in the tide and wave energy sector where NDT condition monitoring will play an even bigger role, driven by expensive and dangerous device access. • TidalSense (if proven successful) will sit along side, and complement NDT technology such as fibre optic strain gauging equipment. Whilst fibre optic techniques can infer damage by changes in strain (also monitored by accelerometer and vibration measurements), TidalSense hopes to identify and classify defects which will be of significant value alongside existing methods. • A number of data infrastructure and processing equipment and techniques are being developed across the sensor technology market for similar applications. TidalSense should be aware of these developments and ensure that any emerging ideas integrate well with adjacent technology. The abstract submitted for the conference: Until now, the [tidal energy] sector has been driven by the need to demonstrate the fundamental principles of energy extraction and survival rather than the commercial cost of energy. As a result, engineering design has appropriately accepted the material cost and simplicity of over-engineering in demonstrator machinery rather than the design cost and complexity of designing for fatigue and durability in commercial machinery. The sector is however beginning to change as investor interest grows, and technology moves from research and development to commercialisation, the need to deliver against forecast cost of energy figures through sophisticated design is becoming more pertinent. The presentation will look at IT Power's exposure to the changing requirements of engineering in the sector using the design of the Pulse Tidal ltd energy converter as a case study. In this case study will, I will examine the problems associated with limited environmental loading data available for design of the 100 kW prototype machine. I will also look at the complexity and expense associated with improving and rationalising environmental loading data for design at the pre-commercial level required for the current Pulse Tidal machine. The presentation will also look at a secondary market technology under development by a consortium including IT Power: the use of long range ultrasonic technology (LRUT) to remotely monitor the health of structures used in marine energy conversion.