QED Naval’s Subhub tidal platform, capable of delivering 240kW to remote island or off-grid communities, has been towed out to Pembroke Dock for refitting of new Tocardo tidal turbines.

Photo showing Subhub platform at Pembroke Dock (Courtesy of QED Naval)
Subhub platform at Pembroke Dock (Courtesy of QED Naval)

The Subhub platform, known as Kraken, arrived in South Wales earlier in June after a 200 nautical mile tow from the Strangford Lough in Northern Ireland.

The operation is said to demonstrate the ease of deployment over large distances and relatively low cost of operating fully integrated tidal energy solution.

Importantly, it shows that this operation can be done in relatively high sea states and wind conditions whereas traditional heavy lifts at sea are often majorly constrained, according to QED Naval.

“This is a major milestone for the Subhub-CD and the TIGER project which will validate QED’s design tools and the performance and energy yield characteristics of the new Tocardo T1 tidal turbines”, QED Naval stated.

The operations were conducted using Marine Coastguard Agency approvals for the operations within UK coastal waters. This entailed load line assessments, surveys and certification prior to departure.

Further qualification for the operation was also required with Marine Warrantee Surveyor, who represented the insurance company.

Williams Shipping was selected for the towing operation. The service provider also has operational bases in Pembroke, Southampton and Fawley on the South Coast which suits ongoing operational requirements for QED Naval and the TIGER project, the company said.

As part of the €45.4 million Interreg TIGER project, Subhub will demonstrate how tidal energy can be quickly and cost effectively deployed and maintained over large distances and a broad range of weather conditions.

It will also validate the performance claims QED Naval made about Subhub-CD, said to be significantly increasing yield by at least 20%.

The upcoming trials at the company’s test site in Yarmouth, Isle of Wight, are also expected to validate the associated design tools and processes.

QED Naval’s self-deploying foundation system Subhub is a platform designed to support the commissioning, testing, transportation, and installation of an array of wave and tidal turbines.

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