BOCA RATON, Fla. (March 10, 2014) – FAU’s SNMREC recently conducted the first at-sea tests of its ocean current research turbine offshore Fort Pierce. Two, one-hour tow tests provided researchers with new data on the turbine’s behavior for further design, development and validation.
In working to fulfill its mission of advancing the science and technology of implementing marine renewable energy recovery, the SNMREC has adopted a multi-phase strategy involving resource assessment, testing infrastructure development, environmental interactions research, and outreach and education for the public. Each of these topic areas is being approached in a systematic fashion, and interactions among them receive special attention.
- Resource assessment includes oceanic measurements of the Florida Current and of the thermal resources (that is, the oceanic temperature stratification) offshore of southeast Florida.
- Testing infrastructure development—perhaps the single greatest need of the corporate developer community—is associated with the planning, fabrication, and deployment of equipment offshore to be used in at-sea tests of energy-generation prototypes.
- Environmental interactions research includes a wide range of projects to develop understanding of the effects of the marine environment on marine renewable energy equipment and of the effects of that equipment, both at the prototype stage and for full-scale commercial deployments, on the marine environment.
- Outreach and education for the public recognizes that future commercialization of marine renewable energy recovery will require an educated workforce that includes technicians, engineers, and scientists who are appropriately trained.
The integration of these topic areas ensures that the overall program leverages resources in the best possible way. For example, the testing infrastructure to be deployed will provide opportunities for at-sea experimental work on environmental interactions. And resource assessment results are providing guidance for both the infrastructure design and the interactions research.