Month: April 2016

Setting the Standard

A path to a sustainable future with standard development.

Imagine if you had to install a new driver when you joined every new wireless network. Or if you had to convert that new album to play on your phone, computer, and stereo—sounds somewhat frustrating, doesn’t it?

This is why international standards have been developed: they touch your life daily in the electronics you use, the buildings you live and work in, the food you buy, the bridges you cross, and in hundreds of other ways you may never notice. International standards ensure safe products and equipment, and they also help the spread and adoption of technology, bringing those resulting benefits to your everyday life.

The ocean covers over 70% of the planet and 44% of the global population live within 150 kilometres or 100 miles of the coastline, with more people migrating to these regions every year.

Producing renewable electricity from ocean waves and marine currents has the potential to play a pivotal role in creating jobs, reducing our greenhouse gas emissions, and putting us on a path to a sustainable future.

Still, as a relatively new industry, there are significant challenges with marine renewables. One way to help overcome these obstacles and spread innovation is through—you guessed it—creating international standards. Multinational and interdisciplinary volunteers from academia, government, and industry share and pool their knowledge and experience to develop these standards.

The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) has been fostering this process for over 100 years since it began pioneering standards for hydroelectric dams in the early 20th century. The IEC has specific groups that work on different types of electronics and electricity-producing equipment, and DSA has a role in Technical Committee (TC) 114, which focuses on marine renewable energy.

This month Dynamic Systems Analysis Ltd. (DSA) co-founder and Director of Engineering, Ryan Nicoll, attended the annual IEC TC114 plenary held in Guangzhou, China. Ryan leads the team developing and updating mooring standards for marine renewable technology.

TC114 Plenary group photo

TC114 Plenary group photo

DSA, representing Canada, along with other international experts from Japan, Spain, Denmark, UK, USA, Korea, Ireland, France, China, Germany, and Israel, produced an IEC standard for the design of mooring systems for wave, tidal, and floating river energy converter technologies. This, along with other criteria like power performance assessment, power quality, acoustic monitoring, and so on, will help ensure new devices and power projects certified to IEC standards will be safe and reliable.

TC114 group site visit to the Sharp Eagle wave energy converter off the coast of Wanshan island.

TC114 group site visit the Sharp Eagle wave energy converter off the coast of Wanshan island.

The Canadian government has recognized the abundant renewable energy resources Canada holds. This has led to Canada’s Marine Renewable Energy Technology Roadmap, which established targets for the Canadian sector to contribute projects totalling 75MW by 2016, 250MW by 2020 and 2GW by 2030 for installing in-stream tidal, river current and wave energy generation.With generous ocean wave, tidal flow, and river resources across the entire country, Canadians in every province will be affected positively as these new technologies help raise the standard for power generation.

DSA works closely with companies across Canada to develop sustainable marine renewable energy projects, from tidal energy in Nova Scotia, to Hydrokinetic testing in Manitoba and the West Coast Wave Initiative with the University of Victoria in British Columbia, near the west coast office of DSA.

We understand that the ocean is the heart of our planet and we believe renewable energy, especially marine energy, will allow us to create a more sustainable, low impact form of electricity to power us into the future.


Waves of power rolling in

The push to become less dependent on fossil fuels and to lower carbon emissions has world leaders calling for new and innovative renewable energy technology. In previous posts, here and here, we have explored the potential for tidal power – but there are other options. One option has a much larger potential for generating power from the world’s ocean.

Wave Power.

With 70% of the Earth’s surface covered by oceans, society does not need to look far to find alternative energy sources. Each wave rolling towards to shore can be harnessed to generate electricity.

As early as the 1890’s there have been attempts to harness wave energy but it wasn’t until Yoshio Masuda developed a navigation buoy powered by wave energy that this renewable power source took on new meaning. Masuda is considered the father of modern wave energy and the bouys he developed have been commercialized in Japan since 1965.

Ocean Energy Systems (OES) is an intergovernmental collaboration between 23 countries operating under a framework established by the International Energy Agency in Paris. OES estimates that the global potential for wave energy is 29,000TWH/year. With 44% of the earth’s population living within 150km or 100miles from the coast, wave and tidal energy combined has the potential to meet roughly 10-15% of the current global electricity consumption.


OES depiction of global ocean energy resources

OES depiction of global ocean energy resources

Waves are produced by wind. Energy is transferred from the wind to the ocean through friction between the air and water molecules. As these waves move across the ocean, it allows them to develop large amounts of “power”. The resource of waves is generally described as power per unit length (along the crest of the wave).

Wave energy converters (WECs) are designed to capture the energy from the rising and falling water level. These devices operate in the ocean and are therefore subject to extreme ocean conditions such as storm surges, damage by corrosion, or barnacles and other biofouling growing on the machinery.The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney, Scotland, have identified eight main types of wave energy converters.

Below we’ve described three of the more common options;

Attenuator technology consists of a floating device which operates in parallel to the wave direction – it rides the waves. The device captures energy from the motion of the devices two arms moving as the wave passes them.

Point Absorber technology consists of a floating structure that absorbs energy from all directions through its movements at or near the watersurface. It converts the motion of the buoyant top structure of the device into electrical power.

Oscillating Wave Surge Converter technology extracts energy from wave surges. An arm sways as a pendulum mounted on a pivoted joint in response to the movement of the waves

The remaining four types are; an oscillating water column device, overtopping/terminator device, submerged pressure differential device and a rotating mass device. For more information about each of these please visit the EMEC site here.

The extraction of energy is highly dependent on the movement and stability of the WEC structure and mooring these devices can provide unique challenges. To help mitigate these risks, and understand the effects of current, wave, and dynamic platform motion, wave energy companies are running dynamic simulations of their devices and moorings.

The structures need to be held in place, but to capture the energy from the waves the mooring systems need to be flexible. On top of this, similarly to other structures moored in the ocean they must also endure extreme wave conditions and loading.Numerical modelling or dynamic analysis of a system provides a quick and accurate analysis of the structure’s response and loading in various environmental conditions, including those for normal operating and also extreme survival. Dynamic Systems Analysis (DSA) created ProteusDS and this can be used to assess the structure and how it will behave in these conditions.

DSA works with companies in North America and Europe on the design, development, and installation analysis of WEC devices. DSA is also a founding member of the West Coast Wave Initiative (WCWI) based out of the University of Victoria.

Over the past three years the WCWI has been working to provide the significant gap in data needed of physical measurements and numerical model results describing the West Coast Vancouver Island (WCVI) wave energy resource. For the WEC developer partners, the project will produce the first data set describing the performance of WECs off of Vancouver Island and how these performances need be accommodated on-shore with energy storage technologies.

Members of the WCWI design a buoy mooring system with ProteusDS

The following video is a ProteusDS simulation of a wave energy converter(WEC) designed by Resolute Marine Energy.

To learn more about DSA’s involvement with WCWI or our work with wave energy companies please email Contact Us.

Offshore Technology Conference



The Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston, Texas is quickly approaching and Dynamic Systems Analysis (DSA) will be sending two delegates as members of the Maritime Energy Associations mission.

Held every year during the first week of May, OTC presents a key opportunity for off-shore energy professionals to meet, exchange ideas, opinions and to advance scientific and technology knowledge.

Here are some of our Top Reasons for heading to Houston for OTC;


  • Outstanding technical program brought to you by technical societies that cover all aspects of the energy industry.
  • Learning the inside scoop on the current state of the oil and gas industry.
  • Gaining exposure to rapid and disruptive technologies from other industries.
  • Seeing ground breaking, and never-seen-before technologies
  • Exchanging ideas and opinions with other industry professionals to advance scientific and technical knowledge of offshore resources
  • Expanding our vision of the offshore industry’s future
  • Sharing practical solutions to help the offshore industry advance their business
  • We want to be a part of “The Next Big Thing”


  • Over 90,000 delegates
  • From 130+ Countries
  • Over 2500 exhibitors
  • Great blend of industry executive, technical practitioners, R&D managers, entrepreneurs, young professionals and academics


  • Houston is the fourth largest American city and the world capital of the international energy industry

And if those reasons weren’t enough – you’ll always encounter something new and exciting at OTC.

Drop by the Canadian Pavilion 1817 to say hello or email to set up a meeting – we look forward to seeing you in Houston!

ProteusDS v2.25

Release Date: April 8th, 2016 (v2.25)


      • Implemented a new, simpler licensing mechanism for the entire suite of ProteusDS utilities. All licenses are now installed via the ProteusDS Simulation Toolbox and stored in a single location, as defined by the operating system. The default location is ‘C:\ProgramData\Dynamic Systems Analysis Ltd\ProteusDS\License’
      • Implemented wave-current interaction. ProteusDS generates waves at request wave period as always but now accounts for the current when computing the wave number. This change means that simulations with both waves and current will produce different results than with previous versions of ProteusDS.
      • Functionality has been added to the ProteusDS API to dynamically connect/disconnect cables.
      • Added initial capability for large resolution screenshots in PostPDS. This functionality will be expanded in the future to support even higher resolutions.


      • Revisited simulation initialization routines that should result in dramatically improved loading times in the ProteusDS solver.
      • The RigidBodyABAConnections.dat file (generated when two or more RigidBodies are connected via an ABA connection) has been modified to provide the joint reaction loads rather than the ABA articulated forces and bias forces.

Resolved Issues

    • Resolved an issue in PostPDS that could cause an error on reloading of a simulation if the ‘Environment’ node were un-selected and only one of ‘Water’ or ‘Sea Floor’ nodes were selected.
    • Resolved an issue in PostPDS that could arise if invalid XML characters are manually inserted into library files.
    • Resolved an issue with the ‘Auto-Connect’ cables wizard not consistently accepting the selected ExtMass feature name.
    • Resolved an issue with the visualization of a project not correctly updating if an ABA connect was deleted.
    • Resolved an issue where some UI elements were erroneously available while a simulation was in-progress.