What the History of Flight Can Teach Marine Renewable Energy

In 1903 the Wright brothers changed how the world experienced travel by inventing aircraft controls that made fixed-wing powered flight possible. Initially, the Wright brothers struggled to get their aircraft off the ground, and that first flight may never have happened without a piece of well-placed advice from Octave Chanute.

Chanute, a French-born, Chicago-based engineer, was quite possibly the first independent aeronautical consultant at the time, and the Wright brothers often sought his expertise. Many of Chanute’s ideas were incorporated into the Wright brothers designs leading up to their first successful flight in 1903. Chanute provided the Wright brothers with specific technical expertise, and according to Roger D. Launius,

“It was the Wright brothers that taught the world to fly without question, but it was Chanute who taught the Wrights to fly.”

The Wright brothers recognized the value that outside expertise offered in helping them reach their goals, and ensure success. This is why Aquatera, DSA, and Orcades Marine have partnered to launch the third-party verification service called “360 TPV”.  In this article, we’ll discover what 360 TPV is, how it works, and why we think it could help you.


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“I’ve heard about third party verification, but what is 360 TPV?”

360 TPV allows our team of experts in marine operations, engineering, and environmental and resource assessment to provide you with strategic advice at critical milestones during your marine renewables project lifecycle. We call these milestones value assurance gates, and they are implemented after each significant stage of the project life-cycle.

Image of the 360TPV-Value Assurance Process Gates

At each assurance gate, our team identifies opportunities for success, minimize uncertainty, and manages risk. By providing you with prompt feedback, we help you avoid potential hazards common to marine projects, such as:

Typical RisksPotential Consequences
Cost constraintsUnder-resourcing, unsafe acts, inadequate equipment
Unrealistic schedulesPoor planning, hazardous operations, delays, escalated costs
Limited marine experienceHigh operational risk, escalated costs, sub-optimal design
New and challenging operationsHigh marine installation and O&M costs, unsafe operations
Inadequate change controlHigher operational risks, cost escalation, project failure
Inappropriate met-ocean dataUnder design: equipment failure: Over design: excess costs
Flawed design inputHigh installation costs, early failures, re-working costs

360 TPV is your commitment to due diligence when it comes to engineering design, locational suitability, operability, regulatory and license compliance, as well as cost-effectiveness and invest-ability. 360 TPV is designed to be used in part, or as a whole, to meet your specific requirements providing the independent oversight that regulatory bodies, investors, governments, and other key stakeholders value.

“But I have an experienced team, why do I need to hire you?” Good question!

During the development and execution of a marine renewables project, many of the details can become overwhelming, and there may be times when those closest to the project are blinded to opportunities, obstacles, and risks that are in front of them. 360 TPV is a safety net that provides you with the assurance that you are unlikely to miss a golden opportunity, and that risks will be mitigated.

The collective experience and marine industry knowledge of Aquatera, DSA, and Orcades Marine is extensive. We are proud of our track record working with small startups to large oil and gas companies.  Our team adds essential but often missing elements to ocean energy developments by:

  • Providing direct access to experienced sector experts who know what can happen, what has happened and what can be done
  • Delivering rapid feedback to enable any adaptations can be made promptly
  • Contributing independent and unbiased expert review
  • Analyzing up-side opportunities as well as down-side risks
  • Building in a multidisciplinary approach from the outset
  • Ensuring the right inputs are used from beginning to end
  • Thinking about solutions rather than solely identifying problems
  • Helping the sector progress rather than merely selling a service

“What specific things are your team going to do?”

Looking in depth at an example of a tidal energy device deployed for six months at a test site where 360 TPV was used to de-risk the deployment can likely help answer this question.

Image courtesy of Marine Renewables Canada

The tidal developer had a two-turbine floating structure, with a four-point mooring system that they wanted to test. A third-party review was desired to ensure compliance with appropriate standards and where necessary perform independent design calculations to verify critical components along the load path from the turbine and the floating structure to the anchors. Towards this end, our team conducted the following:

Reviewed environmental conditions and design basis
Environmental conditions used in the design were reviewed, and it was determined whether they covered a representative range of conditions for the planned deployment.

It was determined that the location was exposed to tidal eddies that produce greater cross-flow, resulting in multiple nonobvious design cases. The team provided assurance that the site was also sheltered in specific directions that limited the exposure to waves and tidal flow and interaction between these.

Operational weather forecasting processes and site condition limits were reviewed.

Investigated regulatory compliance
The navigation risk assessment (NRA) completed for the deployment was reviewed for completeness.

Analysed mooring designs and checked the structural integrity
Critical structural points were analyzed to ensure acceptable design limits and fatigue life.

In this example, no structural integrity calculations of the hull were performed as a review of the design documentation were deemed satisfactory. However, it was emphasized to the developer that visual inspection before deployment by an experienced third party is required.

A review of the mooring analysis and design was completed to ensure that the mooring design followed industry accepted practices and standards and utilized the specific environmental characteristics of the site. It was determined that no additional numerical modelling of the mooring was required.

Checked installation and marine operation plans and limits
Operational environmental limits for marine operations were reviewed and established along with alpha factors to account for weather uncertainty based on relevant standards.

Documented the independent review
At the end of the review, the client received a professional report which included:

reference documents
description of conditions, limitations and assumptions taken
review of design and considerations
appropriate appendixes


The tasks completed during 360 TPV depend very much on the needs of the client, but the case above is typical of many projects.

“Should I be worried about sharing our trade secrets?”

All projects are completed with the utmost respect for privacy and confidentiality. Non-disclosure agreements are always step-one in any 360 TPV project.  Our success depends on your success, and we understand you must protect your trade secrets and business advantages. Everything that is shared is confidential.  

What the history of flight can teach marine renewable energy

360 TPV is designed to provide your company with the same wrap-around technical expertise that Octave Chanute provided the Wright brothers. Chanute was fascinated by flight and capitalized on his engineering knowledge to solve the problems of flight making him a valued and trusted resource.

360 TPV provides independent third party oversight to your engineering design, location suitability, operability, regulatory and license compliance, as well as cost-effectiveness and invest-ability. It is an integrated, holistic and formalized service delivered by Orcades, DSA, and Aquaterra.

Whether it’s 1903 and you’re the Wright brothers, or it’s 2018 and you’re a technology developer, consulting with industry experts brings confidence to project developers, insurers, investors, authorizing bodies, customers, test facilities, and government. 360 TPV provides an opportunity for you to benefit from the experience of those who have gone before and it delivers independent, sharp insight, improving your likelihood of success.

Minimize Risk and Maximize Opportunity with 360 TPV

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Orcades Marine Consultants