DNV GL unveils marine RE tools

International classification group DNV GL has launched WaveFarmer and TidalFarmer, the world’s first marine energy planning tools to be made commercially available.

WaveFarmer and TidalFarmer have been under development at DNV GL for over seven years, during which time they've been used in prominent research projects as well as commercial farm design and due-diligence jobs.

A major barrier to the growth of the industry is the risk associated with projects and the accompanying uncertainty of return on investment. Engineers face a large number of unknowns at the start of a project – an impediment to the rapid expansion of the industry.

The new tools, launched at RenewableUK’s Wave and Tidal Conference in Belfast, allow users to accurately model wave and tidal energy converters operating in farms of multiple devices.

Paving the way for a full-scale commercial marine energy farm, which would have the potential to harness in the region of 10,000-100,000 TWh of energy per year from the ocean, WaveFarmer and TidalFarmer tools provide an insight into the potential of projects by accurately calculating future annual energy yield, and other important factors.

“Today’s launch marks a significant milestone for DNV GL and the nascent marine energy industry. There are now two software tools: WaveFarmer and TidalFarmer, that can be used to plan and analyse arrays of wave and tidal energy converters with confidence, says Joao Cruz, head of DNV GL wave and tidal energy advisory department.

“With the release of these tools we want to share the knowledge gained through our extensive research and development activities with the industry in order to help it grow in an efficient, cost-effective manner,” adds Steve Parkinson, DNV GL TidalFarmer product manager.

TidalFarmer uses a three-dimensional representation of the resource to accurately predict the performance of a tidal stream farm. WaveFarmer is linked to three separate calculation engines, enabling it to determine hydrodynamic interaction effects for farms ranging from a handful of devices to utility-scale projects.