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Multi-use affordable standardised floating Space@Sea

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Space at Sea (Multi-use affordable standardised floating Space@Sea)

Reporting period: 2017-11-01 to 2019-04-30

The majority of people live in coastal areas. Climate change and the consequential sea level rise threaten habitability of coastal areas. Floating islands can offer a solution for coastal expansion which are capable of facing the threats of climate change. In order to make these islands affordable, Space@Sea proposes a modular floating island concept which consists of multiple smaller floaters connected together to form one large island. In Space@Sea this concept is developed and applications of activities on top are demonstrated.
In order to develop these modular floaters, numerical simulation models need to be adapted. Where numerical models are capable of simulating multiple floating bodies and their interaction, the number of bodies usually is limited. A floating island can consist of 80 floaters or more, going beyond the capabilities of most numerical codes. To achieve this at an acceptable simulation speed, numerical codes will be simplified and these simplifications will be validated against dedicated model tests.
With the validated numerical codes the dimensions of the floaters will be designed as well as the connections between the floaters and the mooring of the island to the seabed. One important aspect in the design is modularity and multi-use of the islands.
Within the Space@Sea project four applications will be demonstrated:
• Energy maintenance hub where maintenance of offshore renewable energy farms can be conducted from.
• Living and rural extension creating a city like living environment for offshore workers, their families and the community that will form around them.
• Aquaculture providing possibilities for fish, seaweed and other aquaculture on top of and next to the floating island.
• Transport and logistics providing floating port expansion solutions either connected directly to an existing port or as an offshore hub.
Although Space@Sea limits the demonstration of the application to these four, many other applications are possible.
Space@Sea partners see it as their role to initiate discussions on rules and regulations based on the technical solutions provided by the project. Rules and regulations need to be based on actual technical solutions which identify the topics about which regulation is insufficient of completely lacking.
Altogether the Space@Sea project will bring the feasibility of floating islands one step further tackling problems and identifying future development work.
Since the beginning of the project up to the first reporting period (month 18), significant progress has been made in all Work Packages. A simple and clear management procedure has been set up and communicated during the kick off meeting at MARIN.
In WP 1 a start has been made to prepare the business case analysis. Locations for the business case demonstrations have been selected, one on the North Sea and one in the Mediterranean. In WP 2 a HAZID was performed for the elaboration of a risk register to monitor the risks and regulatory issues. The risk register will be filled out in the second part of the project. WP 3 partners have worked on updating and validating the numerical codes to be used in the design of the mooring. This was done in close cooperation with WP 4 where numerical methods were adjusted and model tests were done to be used for the validation. Partners in WP 4 also developed the basic floater design which will be worked out in the second period of the project. Where the project started with triangular floaters, during the project in close cooperation with the application work packages, it was decided that square floaters would better fit the requirements. Installation and maintenance is considered in WP 5, this work was scheduled to start at the end of P1 and has kicked off without tangible results being produced in P1.
Design of the applications and activities on the floating islands was done in WP 6 through WP 9. In WP 6 the energy hub was designed as well as ways of generating energy from the relative motions between the floaters. WP 7 developed numerous options for living facilities on the floaters. Partners in WP 8 have looked into various opportunities for aquaculture and smart approaches to combine aquaculture and achieve synergy benefits. In WP 9 the preferred type of cargo for the demonstration location just outside the Schelde river was selected to be containers. The logistics of the hinterland connections have been studied and first designs have been made.
Demonstration of the concept at the end of the project is done in WP 10. As integrator of the project, WP 10 started with collecting the requirements of the various applications and work packages. A test plan for the sub-sections has been made as well as preparations for the final demonstration.
The project management was coordinated out of WP 11 by MARIN and TU Delft. Dissemination and communication of the project was done through WP 12. All of this has been disseminated through the project website, relevant social media channels and a large number of presentations at events. The highlights are the following:
• Space@Sea has a special edition on the Frontiers in Marine Science website on floating islands. A plan for open access publications through this website has been made, nonetheless external contributors are welcome to contribute with their open access papers.
• WP 2&8 leader presented on the topic of offshore aquaculture and the contribution of Space@Sea to these developments during the 1st International Symposium on Offshore Aquaculture, Shanghai, China, 28 November – 1 December 2017
• Project coordinator represented the Space@Sea research during the Community of Practice Noordzee, Den Haag, the Netherlands, 20 September 2018
• WP 6 leader presented on offshore wind energy during the 3rd International Conference on Renewable Energies Offshore, Lisbon, Portugal, 8 – 10 October 2018
• Project coordinator and WP 7 leader presented on living at sea and the contribution of Space@Sea to these development during Kuststad Den Haag, Living at sea, Scheveningen, the Netherlands, 19 October 2018
In the first reporting period WP 3 and WP 4 have brought hydrodynamic simulations of multiple bodies to the next level. Where the state of the art at the beginning of the project was simulations of one a few bodies and the interaction was possible at sufficient speed, progress in Space@Sea has made simulations of more 80 bodies possible at acceptable simulations speeds.
Currently no regulations are directly applicable to activities on floating islands. Regulations from the traditional oil and gas offshore industry are probably too strict for most activities while land based regulations do not leave room for the offshore aspect. In order to start discussions on rules and regulations specifically for floating islands, the Space@Sea concept could act as a starting point for these discussions. Space@Sea partners are in the process of identifying gaps and issues in the regulations to be addressed.
Floating city example