Providing Engineering Support to the SCHOTTEL Hydro Triton Tidal Power System

Client: Black Rock Tidal Power (a member of the SCHOTTEL Group)
Application: Structural Analysis, Design Codes and Standards Review
Location: Halifax, Canada
Sector: Renewables

Background to the Project

Computer model image 1 - 240x204Since 2013, Black Rock Tidal Power (BRTP) has been delivering tailor made tidal energy converter systems and related services to clients across North America. Based in Halifax, Canada, BRTP has supported clients with site specific platform designs and installation procedures, project management, manufacturing and commissioning of devices and operation and maintenance strategies. BRTP is a member of the SCHOTTEL Group.

Tidal power is one of the most predictable renewable generation sources because of the regularity of the tides. The technology has the potential to make a major contribution to the growth of low carbon energy – and BRTP is one of the foremost innovators in the field.

Client Challenge

Computer model image 2 - 274x327BRTP are working on a platform at the FORCE (Fundy Ocean Research Centre of Excellence) in the Bay of Fundy, home of some of the highest tides in the world. The location of the FORCE site is in the Minas Passage, an area that experiences high tidal flows which in some areas exceed 10 knots. This highly energetic environment poses significant challenges for developers who need to demonstrate they can produce electric power at competitive rates. Meeting these challenges requires thorough up-front engineering analysis.

The SCHOTTEL Hydro Triton design is a novel design for a tidal power generating system consisting of spar buoys, cross arms and tether arms. The 5-storey tall structure is secured to and pivots about a fixed gravity base by the rigid tether arms. The spar buoys are designed to pivot so that the cross arms supporting the SCHOTTEL turbines can be raised to the water's surface and accessed for maintenance.

BRTP needed to understand what codes and regulations applied to their novel tidal power platform and to identify and assess loading conditions on the structure. Failure to do so could have had severe consequences: loss of the platform, with a direct financial impact.

Our Solution

Lloyd's Register undertook a review of pertinent design codes and standards in support of the SCHOTTEL Hydro Triton project. This enabled us to better understand the analysis requirements and identify any potential gaps in the approach and methodologies applied during structural assessment.

We then assisted in the development of a Structural Design Basis. Following this, LR developed structural models of major platform components and a hydroelastic model of the spar buoy.

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Load cases were considered for client-selected operating conditions. A number of commercial and internal LR software packages were used to assess the hydroelastic, strength, vibration and buckling response of the modelled components.

Benefits to the Client

The study gave BRTP the guidance and confidence they needed to progress the project. Specifically:

  • the appropriate standards and rules and how to apply them;
  • the structural response of the design to the selected conditions at the test site.
"The experience that the LR team gained from previous renewable projects of similar scope provided the client with the required expertise to solve complex structural problems and progress this novel design. This project built upon LR's renewable experience/expertise for future service offerings."
John Crocker, Project Manager, Lloyd's Register Applied Technology Group (ATG)