Float Europe is an industry leader in floating marine technologies designed for a range of offshore applications, including energy generation, storage, and offshore developments.
The company’s revolutionary floating marine technologies portfolio includes its Pneumatically Stabilized Platform (PSP), Wave Energy Converter (WEC), known as the ‘Rho-Cee’, and the Potential Energy Storage (PES) system.
Offshore applications for floating marine technologies
Float Europe specialises in very large floating platforms, providing project development services, including the research, design, and development of floating marine technologies. The company aims to proliferate the vast applications of these technologies and help to optimise their uses.
The company’s floating marine technologies can be employed for the following applications:
- Offshore floating wind and wave energy;
- Offshore energy storage;
- Floating developments and airports;
- Security ports;
- LNG terminals;
- Offshore breakwaters;
- Aquaculture; and
Pneumatically Stabilized Platform
The PSP enables the design and construction of floating platforms of unlimited size. PSP can be utilised in parts of the world that experience extremely high waves and achieves more stability than any other floating marine technologies and have been tested at wave heights up to 20 metres.
The PSP was developed with US Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) and Office of Naval Research (ONR) support and proved in model scale. It achieves at-sea motion stability and structural loads mitigation by decoupling the ‘hull’ from ocean wave pressures through the partial use of mobile air buoyancy.
Flotation force is generated by open-bottom cylinders that retain air pressure that displaces the water. These cylinders are assembled into modules containing 25 cylinders that can be developed into PSP platform configuration.
Modules assembly can be accomplished in Sea State 3 levels, and PSP can be extended without interrupting existing onboard activities.
Benefits of PSP include:
- Softer response to waves with higher deck load capacities;
- Over 70 years of longevity without significant maintenance;
- No periodic dry docking is required;
- Deployable in unlimited water depth and of unlimited platform size;
- Supports multiple energy sources such as wave, wind, and current;
- Supports multiple functions, including lodging, dining, medical facilities, and maintenance facilities for turbine, rotor and boat repairs; and
- Provides protected calm waters (leeward) for supply ship and maintenance craft dockage.
Potential Energy Storage system
Due to the PSP being buoyantly supported and boasting a large accessible internal volume, it can store a substantial amount of energy that can later be utilised during periods of low wave activity to match varying energy demands.
No additional equipment is needed to exploit these energy storage capabilities, with the PES system using the air handling equipment, ducting and valving of the PSP’s variable air buoyancy system.
The Rho-Cee Wave Energy Converter
The Rho-Cee Wave Energy Converter is a broadband, impedance-matched system that transforms the hydrodynamic power of waves into electricity. The renewable energy it generates can be employed onboard the PSP in an array of applications or transferred ashore through submarine cables.
If the energy that Rho-Cee generates is not immediately needed, it can be converted into compressed air and stored within the interstitial spaces of the PSP that can provide 10MWh capacity per hectare. Testing has demonstrated that Rho-Cee’s capture rate ranges from 50-94% depending on wave activity.
Characteristics of Rho-Cee include:
- Impedance-Matching, Oscillating Water Column (IM-OWC) system;
- Intended to be solidly supported by a PSP;
- Constructed in reinforced concrete;
- All equipment is in the air; none in water;
- Accessible for maintenance by personnel on foot;
- May be combined with large offshore wind turbines and submerged ocean current turbines; and
- The PSP can provide a highly effective floating breakwater with a leeward calm water vessel berthing zone.