At Minesto’s test and demonstration facility in Strangford Lough, Minesto’s technology has been undergoing open sea testing using scale models since 2010.
The focus at the test site has since 2013 remained on 3-meter wing prototypes. The overall goal is to validate the control functionality and power performance, in order to underpin the commercial viability of the technology. In tests during the summer and fall of 2016, the prototype generated an output of more than 3 kW at a tidal current velocity of 0.8 m/s.
At the test site, the power plant is deployed and flown from a moored barge test platform. The video above shows a 3-meter prototype ”flying” from the test platform in Strangford Lough. This test mode is predominantly for demonstration purposes.
Strangford Lough is the largest inlet in the British Isles and is linked to the Irish Sea by a long narrow channel or strait. Minesto’s test site is located in that strait just outside the town of Portaferry. The proximity between the test site in the lough and our offices and workshop in Portaferry enables efficient and cost-effective test and development operations.
The offshore testing is combined with analysis and design work to further optimise fundamental parts of the power plant. Minesto has an integrated continuous development process, utilising high-tech simulation tools and subsystem testing before verification in Strangford Lough. The iterative development process entails risk assessments and cost reductions to develop a product suitable for commercial installations.
The test site is also used to verify improvements in installation, operation, and maintenance procedures. Associated health and safety measures can also be tested and verified. Knowledge gained from these activities provide essential contribution to the offshore operations that are currently being established at the commercial scale projects.