Periodic Reporting for period 2 - Space at Sea (Multi-use affordable standardised floating Space@Sea)
Période du rapport: 2019-05-01 au 2020-10-31
In order to develop these modular floaters, numerical simulation models needed 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 were simplified and these simplifications were validated against dedicated model tests. Validation of the codes proved that the codes are well capable of catching the physical phenomena.
With the validated numerical codes the dimensions of the floaters were 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. Square floaters resulted from weighing the requirements with a size of 45x45 and 95x95, concluding a gap width of 5m.
Within the Space@Sea project four applications were demonstrated:
•Energy maintenance hub : this showed to be an economically attractive alternative to present day approaches to maintenance for deep water.
•Living and rural extension: Although economically it may not be so attractive, social benefits still make this an attractive solution.
•Aquaculture: Single-use islands for aquaculture proved not economically feasible. aquaculture should be done on floating islands on small scale to support the people living on the island.
•Transport and logistics: for shallow waters the solution is more expensive than land reclamation, deeper water however makes floating a more attractive solution. Technical feasibility was proven in the project.
Although Space@Sea limited the demonstration of the application to these four, many other applications are possible.
Various applications and activities on the floating were designed. The energy hub was designed as well as ways of generating energy from the relative motions between the floaters. Living facilities and housing on floaters was designed. Partners have looked into aquaculture for sea bass and mussels. The preferred type of cargo for the demonstration location just outside the Schelde river was selected to be containers.
Integrating all the developments started with collecting the requirements of the various applications. The demonstration consisted of a technical demonstrator in July 2020 where essential components were measured in a range of environmental conditions in the MARIN Offshore Basin. In October 2020 demonstration tests were done to showcase the concept to the press and the audience at the WCFS 2020 conference. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, this demonstration was streamed and could not be attended by audience.
The project management was coordinated by MARIN and TU Delft. All work and results have been disseminated through the project website, relevant social media channels and a large number of presentations at events. The highlights are the following:
•Project coordinator represented the Space@Sea research during the Community of Practice Noordzee, Den Haag, the Netherlands, 20 September 2018
•Project coordinator and offshore living 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
•Space@Sea has a special edition on the Frontiers in Marine Science website on floating islands. Multiple papers have been published throughout the second reporting period on this open access platform. Some papers are still in the reviewing process at time of writing of this paper.
•Space@Sea presented the project final results at the World Conference on Floating Solutions – Paving the Waves 2020 which included a special session on Space@Sea. October 6-8, 2020.
Exploitation of the concept was considered throughout the project focussing on uptake of the result by stakeholders that can bring floating islands to the next level. Barriers for exploitation have been identified throughout the project and summarised in the final report being mainly on regulatory and governance issues. A roadmap for deployment of multi-use floating island resulted from the project which will be published early 2021.
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.