QED Naval Launch Subhub Community Demonstrator Website

QED Naval have launched this new and exciting website to promote the Subhub Community Demonstrator (SH-CD) and to keep stakeholders and local communities informed with the latest developments in our test programme and provide a platform for everyone to provide feedback on our work.

The SH-CD is currently situated within Strangford Lough in Northern Ireland, working with local marine contractors Cuan Marine to test the performance of its ballast system. The trials have been very successful and have demonstrated the Subhub’s seamless installation and recovery process.

Local community groups such as Portaferry Past and Future have taken a keen interest. QED Naval have been working closely with local planning authorities DAERA to ensure the impact of trials are respectful to the test site’s ecology and beneficial in terms of economic output of local tidal energy supply.

We would welcome feedback on our project so please feel free to leave your comments using the link at the foot of this website.

We are currently raising funds for the next stage of the project which is to conduct long term submergence trials on the Subhub tidal platform to feed into an Operations and Maintenance strategy for the Subhub. We will also be monitoring the environmental impact of the Subhub on the seabed and the area around it.

The company plan to purchase a tidal turbine and fit it to the Subhub for performance trials to validate claims of up to 50% more energy yield from a tidal sites. This is clearly site dependently but it is expected to validate the company’s projection using their tidal modelling software called TWEET (Tidal and Wave Energy Evaluation Tools).

QED Naval have requested sample power data from a couple of local businesses in Portaferry so we can get a sense of the area’s energy requirements. The aim is to potentially help the community move towards the net zero CO2 targets being set by the government.

Subhub in its transit condition at the surface preparing to be installed on site.

Subhub Design Validation

After hearing the great news that Scottish Enterprise will be supporting the next stage of the project, QED Naval  is making good progress in producing the Subhub tank testing, validation model!

This 1/67th scale model of the commercial 1MW version of the Subhub will simulate 3 turbines in operation on the seabed. The aim of this first model is to validate the CFD calculations and design process used in the development of the Subhub and explore the levels of extreme load from the combination of waves and tidal currents. This model is rated at 2.5m/s full scale equivalent, using a perforated disk to simulate the drag loads from a generic 20m turbine.

Subhub hull frames used to form the partial duct shape.

Subhub hull frames used to form the partial duct shape.

Subhub gets a new skin.

Subhub gets a new skin.

QED Naval supported by the Energy Technology Partnership (ETP) will be using the world class Flowave test tank facility, officially opened for business last week (5th June) at Edinburgh University.

Flowave omni-directional test tank facility at Edinburgh University.

Flowave omni-directional test tank facility at Edinburgh University.



Scottish Enterprise Award SMART Grant

It is a pleasure to announce that QED Naval have been awarded Scottish Enterprise, SMART R & D grant to support the ongoing development of the Subhub project.

This project aims to complete the validation, build and test of a large scale prototype of the Subhub. The overall goal is to demonstrate a large reduction in the cost of deployment of tidal turbines and validate the performance claims that show large gains in power output when compared with a typical tower installation.

Subhub Selected for WATERS3 Full Application

The Subhub tidal foundation platform has been selected by Scottish Enterprise, TSB and the Carbon Trust to submit a full application for WATERS 3 funding by the end of May. The 3rd stage of this funding program from Scottish Enterprise will invest up to £6 million. It has already invested £14.8 million in the first two stages benefiting projects such as, OceanFlow’s, EvoPod,

The WATERS 3 application will be submitted by QED Naval, marine renewable energy consultancy, and will involve operational testing of large scale models of the Subhub in tanks, sheltered coastal waters and then offshore open water, tidal conditions. This funding is design to take the Subhub through the demonstration stages looking at more of the practical issues associated with the deployment of community scale tidal turbines including planning and consents. With this support we envisage will be deployed in community scale projects by early 2017.

The target market for the Subhub is large commercial scale turbines (1MW turbines), which typically weigh 150 tons, with controllable pitch rotors such as Andritz Hydro Hammerfests HS1000 and Voith Hydro’s turbines. It is most suited to shallow water installations in less than 50m of water where its hull fairing works best to optimise the output from the tidal turbines.

SMART Move for R&D Funds

We recently re-submitted our application for Scottish Enterprise, SMART R&D funds to support approximately £470k of the £1.75m project costs of Subhub demonstration phase. We hope to find out in the coming weeks whether our application is successful.

This funding would support the next 2 years worth of development on the Subhub tidal platform where the major milestones include: 

  1. Tank testing to validate the prototype design and assess the extreme loading events that we could expect during the offshore tidal testing;
  2. Conformation of the Subhub’s performance aspects regarding the large increases in power output using a demonstration turbine;
  3. Completion of the detailed design of the large scale prototype and production outputs;
  4. Build, outfit, launch, commission and test of the Subhub prototype;
  5. Transportation and installation at an offshore tidal test facility (EMEC, Orkney);
  6. Completion of 3 months trials in real offshore tidal conditions;

The completion of this demonstration phase will pave the way for community scale projects of up to 1MW using 7 Subhub units that provide the electrical conditioning and transmission equipment to daisy chain 20 x 50kW devices together.

Subhub is aimed at the larger commercial scale devices of 1MW and above because that is where it stands to show its greatest benefits since Subhub replaces the large, specialist vessels that are typically used to install these devices. This is just one of the many features on Subhub that are required to provide a step change in the costs of deployment that the industry needs in order to become more commercial viable. 

Resources, facilities & test sites for the Subhub demonstration phase.

Resources, facilities & test sites for the Subhub demonstration phase.

ETP Application for Subhub Design Verification

QED Naval Ltd has recently submitted an application for Energy Technology Partnership (ETP) Scotland to support access to the newly commissioned FloWave TT facilities.

This is an exciting prospect offering the opportunity to validate the Subhub prototype design and assess the extreme loads from the combination of both waves and tidal streams. FloWave TT is one of the few facilities in the world that can replicate many different sites around the world including the Bay of Fundy where they have the fastest tidal streams in the world.

ETP Logo