SeaZone Solutions Help Site Investigation for Prototype Tidal Turbine

October 26, 2009 -- Plans for Britain’s first tidal power scheme are being boosted with the aid of marine mapping and software from SeaZone. Marine survey specialist IXSurvey is using the SeaZone digital technology to assist with their Hydrographic and Geophysical survey acquisition to pinpoint possible sites for the location of a prototype tidal turbine device. IXSurvey conducted a series of geophysical site investigations at five locations on behalf of Scottish Power Renewables and Hammerfest Strom AS as part of the high profile development of offshore renewable energy in Scotland. SeaZone Chartered Vector data was used in the planning stage of the project providing background mapping, with SeaZone’s GeoTemporal Editor software being used for the analysis and interpretation of current profiles and flow data.

“The use of SeaZone geographic data and software has enhanced many stages of marine survey and enabled a more dynamic vision of operations and analysis of survey data and modelling,” commented Rebecca Seymour, GIS Specialist at IXSurvey in Edinburgh.

The geophysical oceanographic survey programme comprised approximately 100 days fieldwork in the Sound of Islay and Pentland Firth, and the Orkney Isles and Northern Island. The surveys were to locate areas suitable for the installation of a prototype tidal turbine device and its cables to shore and were conducted using multibeam echosounder, sidescan sonar, sub-bottom profiler and a vessel mounted acoustic doppler current profiler. Despite strong offshore winds, over 12 knot currents with extensive turbulence and eddying, IXSurvey were able to produce detailed sonar mosaics with the use of an advanced positioning system, GAPS USBL.

IXSurvey returned to Orkney in the Spring of 2009 to install a heavy duty seabed frame equipped with an acoustic Doppler current profiler to measure currents throughout the water column and a single point current meter to measure turbulence six metres above the seabed. Throughout the project lifecycle SeaZone Charted Vector and SeaZone HydroSpatial data was used for site planning and to present the survey results and project conclusions while SeaZone GeoTemporal Editor was used for the analysis and interpretation of current profiles. An ongoing part of the project is now doing a suitability analysis of turbine designs and positions.

“The great benefit of using SeaZone data and software at IXSurvey is that it works seamlessly with our other mapping systems” continued Rebecca. “SeaZone is one of our key data suppliers, data is used integrally at all stages in survey management, acquisition, processing and analysis, and for context in final charting. The Chartered Vector product is invaluable as a background tool as it is dynamic and allows data layers to be switched on or off as required, a huge benefit over raster or paper admiralty charts; GeoTemporal Editor is a highly recommended market solution for oceanographic data analysis”.

Contact: Alison Smith, Marketing & Sales Manager, SeaZone, Tel: +44 (0) 870 013 0607, Email: Email Contact, Web: www.SeaZone.com




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