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HBM waves to success with tidal power plant

HBM waves to success with tidal power plant

HBM reports that it has been successfully awarded the contract to install strain gauges inside Deep Green, the latest tidal power plant from Minesto, which is the largest marine energy company in the Nordics. As part of the rigorous development work undertaken by Minesto, HBM was able to play a key role in verifying how the plant behaved in the water and how it measured the forces to which it was exposed.

Although relatively protected inside the power plant, the most important issue was to ensure that the moist environment in no way compromised the measurement result but thanks to HBM's installation and sizing technology for offshore environments, this was successfully achieved. The restricted space inside the prototype presented another challenge in terms of installation. HBM addressed through gluing the strain gauges directly onto the plant components before they were assembled in Minesto's laboratory.

Arne Quappen, project manager at Minesto, explains: "We have received very good support from HBM. Strain gauges are not part of our core business, so it's important to get the expertise in measurement technology. HBM has experience from offshore installations and has better tools than we would have access to. In the end, it is both easier and cheaper to use professional help, to ensure the installation is solid and able to provide reliable measurement results."

Deep Green is a relatively small power plant designed to extract marine energy even at slow water currents, which makes it more cost effective than previous techniques. Designed to move under the water in a figure eight pattern, Deep Green reaches a speed that is ten times higher than the currents in the surrounding water. Deep Green is currently undergoing long-term ocean trials in quarter scale in Strangford Lough, Northern Ireland.

In the UK, there are an increasing number of offshore renewable energy installations (OREIs) including wind farms and wave and tidal energy devices. This forms part of the government's commitment to reducing its carbon footprint and tackling climate control. In line with these developments, HBM is able to offer a range of strain gauges for a wide range of different applications in the fields of experimental stress analysis, strain measurement and component testing, to provide accurate measurements which are critical to ensure a project is on the right track.

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