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Quoceant Demonstrate their Q-Connect Technology

Quoceant's adaptable marine quick-connection system completes full-system demonstration tests at Hydrus’s Facility in Brechin, Scotland.

Edinburgh based marine engineering consultants, Quoceant, have been welcoming visitors and potential clients to view a full-system demonstration of their Q-Connect system at Hydrus’s facility. The visitors included Wave Energy Scotland (WES) who funded the development of the system through their Quick Connection Systems call. Also in attendance were potential equipment suppliers, alongside wave and tidal developers.

Image L-R: Graham Shewan from Hydrus Group, Matthew Holland from WES, Beth Dickens and Richard Yemm from Quoceant, David Langston and Iain Begg from WES.

The Q-Connect is a modular and adaptable Quick Connection System (QCS) that provides rapid mechanical and electrical connection of a marine energy device to its mooring and electrical infrastructure. The ‘hands free’ remote connection and disconnection processes can be completed in a single operation without specialised vessels, cable handling, or taut lines on deck. Q-Connect includes many innovations over previous systems, including a modular design that can be adapted to different configurations of mooring, installation, and load rating.

Beth Dickens, Director at Quoceant and lead for the project, said:

“These tests are the climax of three years of hard work by the team at Quoceant supported by our expert sub-contractors. It is immensely satisfying to see the full system in action and to watch the self-alignment and self-locking of the mechanical and electrical systems.
During qualification testing and demonstration, Hydrus’s fabrication skills and high-quality facilities have been a great asset to the Q-Connect project. The expansion of marine renewables offers an important opportunity for Scotland to retain and grow skilled jobs as we transition to a net zero economy. We are looking forward to continuing our great working relationship with Hyrdus.”

The qualification testing has included full-scale tests to demonstrate the self-alignment and self-latching functions of the Q-Connect and its release under load. The latching mechanism has undergone 100 test cycles and the self-alignment mechanisms proven over a range of entry angles and offsets.

Hydrus, who also manufactured elements of the Q-Connect and test frame, have worked previously with Quoceant to manufacture and assemble a quick connection system of a bespoke design for a tidal energy application. Hydrus are a leading service solutions company with expertise in design, engineering, manufacturing, testing, and commissioning.

The stage 3 project, led by Quoceant, brought together an expert team including specialists in manufacturing and marine operations. The team includes: Quoceant, The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC), Soil Machine Dynamics (SMD), and Inyanga Maritime.

Tim Hurst, Managing Director at Wave Energy Scotland said:

"The WES Quick connection Systems programme sought to find some of the best thinking and practice in mooring and electrical quick connections and apply this to the Wave Energy Sector and beyond. The stage 3 testing by Quoceant of their combined mechanical and electrical connector demonstrates the outputs from the research and development efforts from Stage 1 and 2.

Martin Anderson, Managing Director at Hydrus Group said:

Hydrus Energy Engineering Ltd have been instrumental in supporting Quoceant for many a year now by incorporating our comprehensive offerings from design, engineering, manufacturing right through to assembly.
This project has been a great example of combining unique skills from multiple disciplines right across the board. Hydrus Energy Engineering Ltd look forward to supporting Quoceant in their journey and exciting times going forward."

Image: David Langston and Matthew Holland from Wave Energy Scotland are shown the Q-Connect by Richard Yemm (centre) of Quoceant. Image copyright of Quoceant.

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