Dr. Etienne Mfoumou, NSCC Applied Research
The high-energy Bay of Fundy marine environment offers a vast relatively untapped source of renewable energy in the form of tides. In this context, energy conversion technologies that harvest this energy source are increasingly coming on-line, and dependable tools that can be used to inspect and interact with submerged infrastructure over sustained periods are increasingly needed. In the past few years, the Nova Scotia tidal community has augmented its marine operational capacity, but some unknowns and risks still exist, and the cost associated with such operations are high. A next step in reducing tidal energy levelized costs is therefore improving the performance of key installation tools, such as Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs).
Conventional ROVs generally operate in subsurface currents of up to 1.5 m/s. They are thus a key operating limitation in the design (and cost) of the marine operations in high flow tidal environment such as the Bay of Fundy, where subsurface current speeds reach 5 m/s. The proposed DEMO project intends to enhance marine operations capacity and efficiencies in the Bay of Fundy. The project will address premobilization and mobilization challenges with the purpose of collecting field data for the validation of available numerical models. This will enable a dramatic increase on project yields and a dramatic reduction in operations and maintenance costs. Developing such new solutions for operations in tidal environments is therefore critical to cost reduction, operational safety, and the overall advancement of the sector.