Tag: tidal energy

Emerald Isle Bound for EWTEC 2017

We are packing our bags and heading to Cork, Ireland for the 12th Annual European Wave and Tidal Energy Conference (EWTEC). EWTEC brings together leaders in research and development in ocean renewable energy. DSA is privileged to be counted among the attendees.

Our team has put together our top reasons for attending EWTEC, and to let you know what we will be up to while we are there…

  1. To learn:

  •     To Increase our understanding of emerging markets and technologies
  •     Expand our technical expertise through seminar attendance
  •     Visit the global leader in ocean energy – the UK and Ireland currently have more wave and tidal energy devices tested than the rest of the world combined
  1. To network:

  •     Representatives from over 40 countries are in attendance
  •     100+ speakers are sharing thoughts and experiences on ocean energy
  •     Over 400 ocean energy delegates will be in attendance
  •     International exhibitors – find DSA at the Canadian Pavilion.
  •     Connecting with decision makers from across Ireland, United Kingdom, Europe, and international markets.
  1. To share:

  •     Exchange information with fellow ocean energy experts
  •     Share our experiences working with industry leaders in tidal and wave power generation.
  •     Showcase our team’s extensive experience using our validated time-domain software ProteusDS for mooring and installation analysis
  •     We are presenting three papers – check out our listing below
  1. To partner:

  •     Start conversation on big ideas and conversations
  •     Explore the potential of new and existing ocean energy projects.
  1. To have fun:

  •     We love Ireland!  
  •     Discover Cork, Ireland
  •     Visit Europe’s newest test tank, the state of the art, Lir National Ocean Test Facility


Paper presentation schedule:

Title : Dynamic Analysis Validation of the Floating ecoSpray Tidal Energy Test Platform

Date: Tuesday, August 29th

Time: 2- 3:20pm

Stream: Station-Keeping, Moorings & Foundations 1

Room: Kane Building, Room G19

Image of the ecoSpray Tidal energy platform images merged from real-life to simulation

The ecoSpray Tidal energy platform


Abstract: Floating tidal power generation platforms are developed due to their advantages in positioning turbines in strong surface flows, and their potentially more cost effective installation, operation, and maintenance. Developing a platform and mooring system capable of withstanding large turbine thrust loads and wave loads is needed. Numerical modeling of the system is critical to reliably dimension the components without over engineering and overspending. Validation of numerical models using full scale platform deployment data and accurate wave, current, and wind measurements is required to reduce risks. This process ensures sound engineering assumptions are employed, which leads to optimized structural design and reduced cost. With the goal of reducing risks associated with floating tidal platforms, the ecoSpray tidal energy test platform was deployed in Grand Passage, N.S., Canada in March 2016. The design process, construction, and deployment of the ecoSpray platform, moorings, and anchor blocks provide valuable experience for the industry. The development and validation of the floating platform numerical model in ProteusDS and the boundary element method (BEM) code ShipMo3D is reviewed. The results of the time-domain simulations are compared with data from the deployment.

Title: PLAT-O at FloWave: A validation of ProteusDS at modelling response of a taut-moored tidal platform at tank-testing scale

Date: Wednesday, August 30th

Time: 2- 3:20pm

Stream:  Tidal Device Development & Testing 9

Room: Geography Building, Lecture Theatre

Image of Sustainable Marine Energies PLAT-O at full scale with two 1st generation SITs

Two (first generation) SITs mounted on PLAT-O1


Abstract: The motion and mooring tensions of a scaled-down PLAT-O#2 physical model was measured in axial currents at FloWave, Edinburgh. At high flows, the platform ‘squats’ – arc motion along the upstream lines and about their anchors – to a stable lower depth. The compliance improves load share and survivability in extreme seas. To further investigate the squatting motion, the tested set-up is simulated ‘like-for-like’ in ProteusDS software. The modelled and measured trends, motion and line loads, are comparable. A significant lift force is identified with further work focused on estimating it at sea.

Title: IEA OES Task 10 WEC Modelling Verification and Validation

Date/time/location: To be determined

Abstract: This paper is the first joint reference paper for the OES Task 10 WEC modelling verification and validation group. The group is established under the Ocean Energy Systems (OES) Energy Technology Network program under International Energy Agency (IEA). OES was founded in 2001 and task 10 was proposed by Bob Thresher (NREL) in 2015 and approved by the OES Executive Committee EXCO in 2016. The kick-off workshop took place in September 2016 where the initial base line task was defined. Experience from similar offshore wind validation/verification projects (OC3-OC5 conducted within the International Energy Agency Wind Task 30) [1], [2] showed that a simple test case would help the initial cooperation in order to present results in a comparable way. A heaving sphere was chosen as the first test case. The group of project participants simulated different numerical experiments such as heave decay tests, regular and irregular wave cases. The simulation results submitted by the project participants are presented and discussed within this paper.

Ryan Nicoll Receives International Award For Moorings Work

Ryan Nicoll, Director of Engineering and co-founder of DSA, has received the 1906 Award from the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) for his tireless contributions towards the development of mooring standards for marine renewable energy applications.

Image of Ryan Nicoll's 1906-Award from the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC)

Ryan Nicoll receives 1906 Award from IEC


The IEC 1906 award was created in 2004 to commemorate the IEC’s year of foundation and to honour IEC subject matter experts. The award recognizes exceptional, and recent achievement by experts on a project or other specific contribution related to the activities of the IEC and which contributes in a significant way to advancing the work of the IEC.

The letter attached to the award reads;

Ryan Nicoll has been recognized for the significant leadership he provides to IEC TC 114 Marine Energy, as convenor of Adhoc Group 6 and as the Canadian Head of Delegation.

Furthermore, he contributes broadly to the efforts of TC 114.We would also like to take this opportunity to thank your organization for its commitment and support for Canadians participating in standardization activities, and in sustaining Canada’s national standards network.

Congratulations Ryan!


ProteusDS Singapore Workshop

About ProteusDS training

If you want to maximise your ProteusDS investment, there’s no better way than giving you or your people the skills to use ProteusDS to its fullest extent. That’s why we offer a range of training options, from small in-person classes to virtual training, self-led tutorials, and private workshops.


Course type: ProteusDS user workshop

When: March 9th & 10th 2017

Where: The Hive

Nanyang Technological University
52 Nanyang Avenue Singapore 639816

Room TBD

Please email Martin Koh @ martinkoh@oceanpixel.org for confirmed final event location


Please email Martin Koh @ martinkoh@oceanpixel.org to register.

Who should attend?

  • New users
  • Prospective users
  • Existing users looking to refresh or build skills and
  • Technologists, engineers, and scientists deploying and designing moorings

Key topics:

  • Single and multiple leg moorings
  • Subsurface moorings
  • Automated mooring report tools
  • Tidal energy platforms
  • Wave energy converters
  • Towed bodies
  • Booms and floating pipes
  • Aquaculture net systems
  • Tug, barge, and towed systems
  • Simulating cables, moorings, chains in the marine environment
  • Details in finite element line modelling: meshing, damping, hysteresis
  • Details in floating structure hydrodynamics modelling: meshing and wave radiation/diffraction effects
  • Environmental effects including current, tides, waves, wind effects and
  • Optimizing simulations for speed

All places are reserved on a first come first served basis. To reserve your spot please contact:

Martin Koh

Turbulence. Understanding unsteady loads

TurbSim synthetic turbulence integration with dynamic analysis software ProteusDS.

When you think of turbulence, likely the first thing that comes to mind is those anxiety-inducing bumps that happen 30,000 feet above sea level in an airplane.

However, turbulence doesn’t just occur in the air, in fact, turbulence occurs in the most naturally occurring fluid flow. In tidal energy, characterizing turbulent flow is vital for engineers to determine the loading on structures and turbines. How the system will respond to unsteady flow conditions affects design life and power prediction, both of which are critical for the tidal industry.



Ocean engineers and other ocean industry professionals use dynamic analysis as a method to test virtual prototypes in simulated ocean environments to determine the loading from complex environmental conditions. Incorporating both time and spatially varying current models into dynamic analysis has traditionally not been possible in dynamic analysis software packages.

However, Dynamic Systems Analysis has recently demonstrated the ability to simulate turbulent flows to our dynamic analysis software ProteusDS, using the time and spatially varying current functionality.

Turbulent flows can be readily simulated using the stochastic turbulence generation tool, TurbSim. TurbSim is developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), it produces statistically similar oceanic and riverine turbulence by generating two-dimensional planes of spatially and temporally varying velocity.

The three-dimensional spatially and temporally varying current option in ProteusDS provides the framework to specify the current data at any location in space and time to use in a simulation. Using Taylor’s frozen turbulence hypothesis, a specially designed converter was developed to allow TurbSim’s two-dimensional time-series output to be formatted as input into ProteusDS.

The two-dimensional planes generated by TurbSim change with time. To convert this 2D representation to 3d, the planes are ‘marched downstream’ to create a 3D grid. This gridded representation makes it possible to import data into ProteusDS to simulate the turbulent flow.

Stacked 2D turbulence planes create 3D turbulence visualizations

Planes are placed at intervals along the X-axis using Taylor’s frozen turbulence hypothesis


What are the benefits of having an integration like this?

  • Assessment of fatigue loading
  • Prediction of structural response
  • Development of realistic asymmetric loading scenarios (moorings and structures)
  • Assessment of stability and motion

These developments can have an impact on design and analysis across many ocean engineering sectors, including tidal energy, wave energy, and aquaculture. Researchers can now better simulate real-world turbulent flows and use them to gain invaluable insights on how turbulence will affect peak loading, energy extraction, fatigue, and structure responses.

Areas like the Bay of Fundy, in Canada, are impacted significantly by tidal turbulence, therefore it is safer to simulate the effects of turbulence rather than using a single mean current to simulate how your platform is going to react.

Designing technology for the complex ocean environment is a constant challenge. Dynamic analysis coupled with turbulence simulation allows engineers to safely innovate and optimise.

Supporting Renewable Energy

Dynamic Systems Analysis recently took part in an initiative with Marine Renewables Canada to further emphasize the opportunity that tidal energy can bring to Canada, and specifically Nova Scotia. DSA wrote letters to our local MLA’s and MP’s to demonstrate the opportunities and benefits industry development is creating for local businesses, communities, and organizations.

The purpose of this outreach initiative is to broaden the current dialogue around tidal energy by highlighting the bigger picture and positive outcomes of this new industry.


I am writing to you today to express my support for the tidal energy industry in Nova Scotia. Dynamic Systems Analysis LTD. (DSA) has been involved in the development of tidal energy in the Bay of Fundy since 2009, when we opened our office in Halifax.

DSA is an ocean engineering consultancy and software company. Our mission is to provide progressive and accessible dynamic analysis software, and expertise to enable those working with vessels, structures, lines and technologies in harsh marine environments to reduce risk.

DSA developed a hydrodynamic, mechanical and marine dynamic analysis software package called ProteusDS. This software package is used by ocean engineers and ocean industry professionals to test virtual prototypes of systems that are exposed to extreme wind, current and waves.

Over the years DSA has thrived providing engineering services as part of a growing local supply chain to companies developing tidal energy technologies destined for the Bay of Fundy and around the world:

  • Cape Sharp Tidal / OpenHydro
  • Black Rock Tidal / Schottel Hydro
  • Fundy Tidal Inc.
  • Big Moon Power
  • Mavi Innovations and
  • Clean Current Inc.

The Bay of Fundy’s potential to produce clean, renewable electricity from its magnificent tides has not only opened up new opportunities for Dynamic Systems Analysis, but it is also creating new economic and environmental benefits for Nova Scotia and Canada as a whole.

In addition to our projects in the Bay of Fundy, DSA takes an active role in research and development for the marine renewable industry. DSA co-founder Dean Steinke is presently the co-chair of the engineering subcommittee on engineering for the Fundy Energy Research Network, and since 2013, DSA has been a key member of the NRCan ecoEnergy Innovation Initiative (ecoEII) project alongside Dalhousie, University of New Brunswick and Acadia University.

The NRCan ecoEII project is helping to reduce the cost of in-stream tidal energy through the development of comprehensive site assessment methods and technologies. Lessons learned from this project will help smaller and remote communities deploy small scale tidal energy systems and support them with their local equipment and capabilities.

Working with renewable marine energy, especially tidal energy companies in Nova Scotia, was a natural fit for DSA. Our business is based on reducing the risks associated with conducting business in the most challenging environment in the world, the ocean.

DSA saw the potential to work with progressive and innovative companies to develop solutions for a growing local and global industry as a tremendous opportunity. Nova Scotia is a leader in Canada in the development of tidal energy resources. DSA’s work with companies in the Bay of Fundy has been adapted to work in other parts of Canada and the world. DSA’s reputation and expertise in the ocean energy industry, had lead to new contracts, the hiring of two new employees in the last 6 months, and increased our collaborations on international research.

Recently DSA’s Director of Engineering, and co-founder Ryan Nicoll attended the annual IEC TC114 plenary held in Guangzhou, China. Ryan leads an international team developing and updating mooring standards for marine renewable technology.

The ocean plays an enormous role in our lives. It covers over 70% of our planet, and 44% of the global population lives within 150 kilometres of the coastline. Harnessing the renewable, thermal and mechanical energy generated by the ocean is a natural fit for any country with extensive coastlines.

Canada (with over 200,000 km of coastline), and Nova Scotia (with our rich tidal resources) have the unique opportunity to change the landscape of how we generate power. The marine energy industry is generating worldwide attention, and currently in Nova Scotia is creating jobs in rural communities across the province.

In his report Now or Never and Urgent Call to Action for Nova Scotians, Ray Ivany said “there are few of us who have yet to grasp the serious nature of our economic circumstances. Without new hope, we run the risk of not being able to stay here; and if we do, we will likely not enjoy the same standard of living or the level of public services and support we have today. Responsible development of our natural resources is an opportunity for growth and prosperity in Nova Scotia, particularly in our rural areas.”

Nova Scotia is, and can continue to be, a leader in marine renewable energy. To do that we must support tidal energy projects in Canada. DSA needs your support to grow Nova Scotia’s renewable energy industry, can we count on you?

For more information on Dynamic Systems Analysis please email info@dsa-ltd.ca