Ectacti-Hull Tank Testing Complete!
Tank testing of our Ectacti-Hull technology at FloWave in Edinburgh has now been completed. Check out the time-lapse video of the day we completed the final set of tests on the high volume version of the model and we changed over to the low volume configuration for further testing (above). Thanks to the raisable floor at FloWave changing over between the two configurations was made much easier and quicker!
The enabling technology, being developed by Quoceant for a Wave Energy Scotland project, is investigating and developing large inflatable structures to produce significant hull volume change in Wave Energy Convertors, or WECs. In the same way that sails are reefed in storms to reduce surface area and ensure survivability, or that flaps on airplane wings are extended during take-off or landing to increase lift and change performance, the inflatable volumes could be inflated and deflated on command to increase or decrease the volume of a WEC's hull. In the high volume, inflated state, the WEC would have increased performance and power capture. In the low volume, deflated state, the survivability of the WEC would be greatly improved. It's the ectactic (meaning to dilate) nature of the hull that gives rise to the Ectacti-Hull name.
During the 1st week of tank testing we were assessing the high volume, "inflated" configuration of our Ectacti-Hull technology, testing its performance characteristics as well as how it behaved in survival conditions. After all the tests with waves of different heights and characteristics had been run in that configuration, the model was converted to its low volume, “deflated” state.
One of the benefits of testing in a tank is that there is great repeatability and we can recreate the same waves over and over again, looking at how results differ as we change things on the model. The key focus of the second set of tests is how the inflated and deflated model constructions differ in their behaviour and performance in the same waves. The initial results are extremely encouraging with the deflated configuration demonstrating much better survivability characteristics. To put it simply, the low volume model moved much less in the large and extreme wave conditions tested. The results and conclusions are all going to be subject to the watchful eye of EMEC who are conducting Third Party Verification on the tests and were present at FloWave for much of the testing programme.