Marine energy company Minesto has developed a simulator for anchored flying underwater vehicles, which will aid in the development of its Deep Green marine power plant. Deep Green will produce electricity from low velocity tidal and ocean currents.
The simulator has been developed in-house by Minesto's own research and development department, and is based on two existing open source programs: one for commercial flight simulation and one for marine vehicle simulation.
The end result is an analysis and simulation tool called HAMoS, Hydrodynamic Analysis and Motion Simulation, which can simulate the movements of a flying tethered underwater vehicle. It will be used to predict how the marine power plant moves subsea in various ocean environments and depending on the plant's design.
Deep Green resembles a sweeping underwater kite, comprised of a wing and a turbine, which is secured to the seabed with a tether and moves with high speed in an 8-shaped path in the tidal or ocean current. Minesto's research, development and testing staff can change a number of variables in the power plant's design to simulate and optimize its performance. The simulator can be used to predict Deep Green's behaviour and power performance in different real-life site conditions.
"The new simulator is a very valuable tool for us as a supplement to real life sea tests since it speeds up the development of Deep Green," said Anders Jansson, CEO, Minesto. "We can easily scale and change different variables in the simulator to predict and optimize Deep Green's power production performance with great accuracy. It is of great commercial value to be able to estimate the cost of energy more precisely at a specific location."
HAMoS combines CFD analysis with a flight simulator and a simulator for marine vehicles. The CFD analysis is used to calculate lift, drag and added mass acting on the body. The flight simulator is used as the main simulation platform formulating the equations of motion, and it utilizes both the results from CFD computations and also specific formulas for underwater motion from the marine vehicles simulator.
For more information, visit Minesto. Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company's website.