Lifesaver Installation Success
Date: 12 Apr 2012
Cornwall’s marine energy test site FabTest in Falmouth has welcomed its first wave converter - Fred. Olsen’s BOLT “Lifesaver” – to its waters. Insight Marine Projects were pleased to supply surface positioning equipment and personnel to the project during the actual installation as well as hydrographic survey work conducted on the FabTest site prior to deployment.
The "Lifesaver" was lifted in to sea in Falmouth Harbour at around 10:30 a.m. on Monday 19th March in close collaboration with Falmouth Harbour Commissioner (FHC). The company said "Lifesaver" will undergo tests in moderate sea conditions on structural integrity, response behaviour, moorings and umbilicals, subsea components, monitoring systems and deployment procedures.
The installation of the device at the FabTest site is the first of its type following final consent approvals from the MMO to the site operators FHC and University of Exeter (Cornwall Campus). The site covers almost 2 km2 seabed at an location 1.5 nautical miles off St. Anthony’s Head and has been developed for either full scale or large scale sea testing of devices in a realistic environment.
FabTest does not have a grid connection facility and so “Lifesaver” has been fitted with a separate control unit which receives the electricity being produced. After having conditioned and measured the electricity produced it is dissipated off through a large heater. In a possible later, grid-connected test a large part of this equipment will be superfluous.
The device may subsequently be deployed in more energetic offshore waters at the grid-connected Wave Hub site near Hayle.
FHC's Chairman David Ellis said: “The deployment of the “Lifesaver” device is a historic moment, not only for Falmouth but for the entire marine renewable sector in the South West.”
He added: “The pre-consented area in Falmouth Bay is licensed to test up to three devices at a time. Judging by the high level of interest, we expect there will be a steady stream of device deployments to follow.”
Wave Hub general manager Claire Gibson said: "We hope the Lifesaver trials at FabTest go well and look forward to welcoming Fred Olsen at Wave Hub for grid-connected trials of an array of Lifesavers in the near future.”