Orkney marine hydrokinetics test sites prepare to use hybrid EMECOFS


Wave and tidal energy research test facilities that the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) operates in Orkney, Scotland, will utilize a hybrid operational forecast system (OFS) to manage its marine hydrokinetics (MHK) operations, making the system an EMECOFS.

EMEC said it has joined with environmental engineering consultancy JBA Consulting and meteorological and oceanographic (metocean) scientists from the UK’s Met Office to develop software it thinks would “revolutionize operational planning at EMEC’s MHK test sites in Orkney.” 

Specific scientific nomenclature and data sources for the new EMECOFS are not immediately available, but “the system will be based on JBA’s ForeCoast Marine Mission Planner.”

The Met Office employs about 1,700 people at 60 locations throughout the world, and according to the company, it uses more than 10 million weather observations each day, an advanced atmospheric model and a high performance supercomputer to daily create 3,000 tailored forecasts.

The EMECOFS software will incorporate the vast amount of operations and maintenance (O&M) data and resource models from EMEC’s test sites to create a custom system that would help personnel manage MHK projects in Orkney waters.

In the U.S., according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, “operational forecast systems consist of automated integration of observation system data streams, hydrodynamic model predictions, product dissemination and continuous quality-control monitoring.

“State-of-the-art numerical hydrodynamic models driven by real-time data, metocean and/or river flow rate forecasts form the core of these end-to-end systems. An OFS performs Nowcast and short-term forecast predictions of pertinent parameters (e.g., water levels, currents, salinity, temperature, waves) and disseminates them to users.”

EMEC said, “Ultimately, its system aims to reduce O&M costs for MHK technology developers, by helping optimize O&M strategies resulting in fewer failed maintenance missions.”

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