A newly launched open source software package aims to assist project developers to design wave and tidal energy arrays by identifying optimal layouts, components and procedures.
DTOcean, which stands for Optimal Design Tools for Ocean Energy Arrays, has been produced through a three-year collaborative project funded by the European Commission. The software package is now available as a free download along with manuals and tutorials from the European Commission’s Joint Research Center website.
DTOcean work planning has been implemented as five content-orientated Work Packages (Hydrodynamics, Electrical Sub-systems, Moorings & Foundations, Installation and Operations & Maintenance) guided by two defining work packages (Scenarios and Management & Coordination) which set the underpinning scope in relation to a range of array sizes and hydrodynamic layouts. The outputs, feedbacks and interactions within these culminate in the Integration Work Package where the design tools are actually developed.
Together, these define the operational S&T effort and are supported by a dedicated Work Package for Dissemination and Exploitation. The structure of these work packages is set out below. There is considerable collaboration and interaction between all work packages with the objective being to deliver an integrated approach to ocean energy array design and development. The relationship between the R&D work packages involves a real collaboration, with information flowing in both directions and active communication required between all parties.
“Access to high quality design tools is a prerequisite for reducing costs in complex engineering projects, such as such as wave and tidal arrays,” said Henry Jeffrey, coordinator of the DTOcean project. “With the world’s first ocean energy arrays now under construction, the launch of DTOcean is very timely.”
“The launch of the software presents a great opportunity for the industry and research organizations to engage with the DTOcean software to make it work for them. There is already active and growing support community around DTOcean, and we will hope to see this thrive as the sector develops,” Jeffrey said.
The project, which aims to accelerate the industrial development of ocean energy power generation knowledge, and providing design tools for deploying the first generation of wave and tidal energy converter arrays, gathered 18 partners from 11 countries (Ireland, Spain, the U.K., Germany, Portugal, France, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium and the U.S.) including utilities, project developers, industrial suppliers and R&D organizations, coordinated by the University of Edinburgh.