Sustainable Marine Energy (SME) has become the newest member of Ocean Energy Europe.
Based in the Isle of Wight, Sustainable Marine Energy is a developer of an integrated support structure for tidal energy convertors – PLAT-O.
PLAT-O, addresses the sectors two biggest challenges:
- Dramatically reducing installation and maintenance costs;
- Enabling deployment in deeper water where over 2/3 of the UK resource is located.
PLAT-O achieves this by reducing the self-drag and mass of the support structure, and enables installation and maintenance access to be undertaken without the need for heavy lifts. It is taut-moored, and positioned mid-water, utilising buoyancy to resist the thrust and drag forces induced by the tidal energy convertors and the structure.
SME’s technology offers a number of key features and benefits to developers:
- Elimination of water depth constraints;
- A stable platform below the highly energetic wave interaction zone;
- Optimum position in water column for power extraction;
- Housing of power electronics and control systems, and access at the surface;
- Robust, yet compliant; reduces loads imposed on tidal turbine drive trains;
- Scalability (suitable for small-scale and utility-scale projects);
- Reduced footprint compared with catenary moored systems;
- Can be anchored in any type of seabed, and is tolerant of uneven terrain;
- Compatibility with most leading turbine developers’ technology and adaptable for a wide range of tidal turbine configurations.
Press Release, April 25, 2014; Image: SME