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So, on Wednesday 26th February David Elliot-Rose and Dave Cole attended a Rampion Offshore Wind Farm 'Meet the Buyer' event at the Amex Stadium, Brighton, hosted by the developers, E.ON. The main aim of this event was to inform local businesses of potential opportunities that could arise from the construction and operation of the wind farm project, assuming it receives consent later in 2014. The grand setting of Brighton’s football club stadium hosted some 250 – 300 persons with a conference style programme in the morning, followed by interactive breakout focus group sessions in the afternoon.The first morning session provided a project update and supply chain support, introduced by Chris Tomlinson, Rampion Development Manager.
This session then included an introduction to the supply chain steering group and associated studies, a Rampion project update, with a report on the way forward to construction and operation, followed by comments on supporting supply chain development. The presentation continued with an item relating to business growth grants and then a specific item for grants and loans for East Sussex businesses.
After a break, the morning continued with overviews of supply chain contract packages, then offshore work packages, then followed by an absorbing presentation and video from Vestas (turbine manufacturer) regarding their history and worldwide operations. The morning concluded with an overview of onshore work packages and operations and maintenance needs for when the project is completed.
A networking lunch and exhibition had been prepared with the opportunity to meet other local businesses, and project and procurement staff from E.ON's Rampion Project Team.
This was a fascinating and rewarding presentation which included speakers from E.ON, Vestas, Marine South East, Grant Thornton, Coast2Capital and Locate East Sussex.
And so Liquid Robotics' engineers dumped their robots into the rolling water and turned them loose, uncertain as anyone else whether the robots could survive the weather, waves, and wildlife they would surely encounter on a trans-Pacific crossing. There are sharks out there, after all. Massive waves and gale-force winds. There's a whole lot of saltwater out there, itself a force for destruction and disruption of mechanical systems. And yet almost exactly a year after launching the Wave Glider known as "Papa Mau" navigated around the Great Barrier Reef and arrived off the coast of Queensland Australia in May 2012, half a world away from where it started and only somewhat worse for wear.
For those not up to speed on Wave Glider, a quick primer: Wave Glider is the first unmanned and autonomous maritime robot that draws its propulsive power solely from the ocean's waves. The two part system consists of a float that rides on the surface of the water and a tethered submarine unit that moves beneath the surface roughly 23 feet below. Wave Glider doesn't turn wave energy into power for motors or anything like that--the unique construction of the robot allows it to gain a little forward thrust with every wave that lifts the float unit. It doesn't move fast, but as long as the ocean continues to move so does the robot.
That makes Wave Glider ideal for a range of scientific missions, the kinds of data gathering expeditions that don't need to move fast and in fact don't want to. Solar panels spread across the float unit can power an array of instruments, those include a weather station measuring air temperature, barometric pressure, and wind speeds, as well as a wave sensor recording height, period, and direction, a submersible fluorometer capable of measuring chlorophyll-A, and a CTD (conductivity, temperature, depth) payload also able to measure dissolved oxygen in the water. The sensor package wasn't designed to discover anything in particular, but simply to create an unprecedented data set--refreshed every ten minutes and uploaded to the Iridium satellite network. That's more or less the entire idea behind Wave Glider: gather ocean data consistently and without interruption, until the end of time if possible.
Information adapted from popsci.com article 12th May 2012