Under stage 3 of Wave Energy Scotland’s (WES) “Structural Materials and Manufacturing Processes” programme, Tension Technology International Ltd (TTI) have developed the NetBuoy™ design tool which is now available via their new dedicated website www.netbuoy.co.uk
The goal of the Structural Materials and Manufacturing Processes programme has been to bring down the cost of wave power through the use of new and alternative materials and processes. NetBuoy™ integrates two enabling technologies for cost competitive wave energy – impermeable membranes to manufacture buoyant modules, and fibre rope nets to encapsulate the buoyant modules. The net applies distributed restraint loads and agglomerates them back to structural ‘hard’ points. This is essential in enabling the use of membrane buoyant modules as they cannot be restrained otherwise.
TTI have had a busy summer on the NetBuoy™ project with the recovery and assessment of a prototype NetBuoy™ system following a six-month sea trial in the Cromarty Firth, a return to the wave tank to demonstrate the applicability of the Netbuoy™ technology to other wave energy device architectures, and now the creation and launch of the NetBuoy™ design tool.
The design tool allows wave energy technology developers to explore the applicability of NetBuoy™ for their device and estimate the size, weight and cost of a NetBuoy™ structure, which can be used to replace structural buoyancy traditionally manufactured from steel or concrete.
TTI will be following up the launch of the dedicated NetBuoy™ website and design tool with a “Voice of Customer” survey, canvassing wave energy developers to gauge interest in the NetBuoy™ technology for a range of wave energy device forms and scales.
Ben Yeats, Director at TTI Marine Renewables Ltd, said:
"We are delighted to release the NetBuoy™ design tool which is another step closer to the long-term vision of wave energy converter integration.
“The cost savings from NetBuoy™ are very compelling. Other benefits of the inflatable technology include ease of transport and installation. NetBuoy™ also has excellent load shedding characteristics and survivability, which we demonstrated via quayside drop tests after it was recovered from the Cromarty Firth this summer.”
Tim Hurst, Managing Director at Wave Energy Scotland, said:
“The NetBuoy™ concept could have a significant impact on the cost of wave energy technology and help it to be part of the 2045 net zero energy mix. The development of the NetBuoy™ design tool allows wave energy device developers to quickly establish the impact of this technology and help them integrate it into their device designs.”
For NetBuoy ™ enquiries, contact:
Ben Yeats, Managing Director, TTI
Tel: +44 (0)7749 504429
For media enquiries, contact:
Sarah Jessen, Marketing and Communications Officer, WES
Tel: + +44 (0)1463 383142