This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 748747

  • June 30th, 2019. Project OpTiCA ENDS!
  • It has been a great honour and experience being a Marie S. Fellow. During the last two years I had the opportunity to obtain new skills, participate in several projects, collaborate with other research intitutions and private companys. The marine renewable energy sector, specifically the tidal energy sector, is a very promising bussines that will provide lots of GWh of clean energy but there is still a long way to make a it reliable and competitive. OpTiCA project has contributed with a little grain to achieve this goal and little by little we will get there...

    I want to thank the Centre of Marine and Envrinmental Research (CIMA) from the University of Algarve (UALG), where the project took place, and the researchers Dr. André Pacheco and Prof. Óscar Ferreira for their support and help to gain this fellowship as well as for their camaraderie and advises during the execution of the project. I also want to thank all the research team and technicians of CIMA and UALG that I met during this period, with who I collaborated, help me with administrative burocracy or just share some time. I will allway take you with me! Special thanks for Graeme Mackie and Prof Ian Master for having me in their research centres, where I did very valuable secondments. Finally, I will like to thank the EU Comission for supporting this grant.

  • June 12th-14th, 2019. International Conference on Computational Science, Faro, Portugal
  • During the ICCS 2019 conference, I will be presenting my research titled "Surrogate-based optimisation of tidal turbine arrays: A case study for the Faro-Olhão Inlet" on the workshop session Computational Optimization, Modelling and Simulation held in Room 1.4, from 14:20 - 16:00 on June 14th.

  • May 11th, 2019. Outreach activity at Centro de Ciência Viva do Algarve, Faro, Portugal
  • The objective of this outreach activity consists in promote knowledge of marine renewable energies to the general public. For this purpose, in collaboration with the Centro de Ciência Viva do Algarve (CCVAlgv), a training course for elementary school professors is offered. The training course will introduce in a general and simple manner the most common types of marine renewable energy, their degree of development, what are their advantages and disdavantages, as well as an description of the OpTiCA and SCORE projects that have been developed at the Ria Formosa.

    It follows the flyer of the event:

    It follows some pictures of the event:

  • March 25th, 2019. Lecturing at the Master of Renewable Energy and Energetic Efficiency, University of Cádiz
  • I was invited to participate in the Master of Renewable Energy and Energetic Efficiency, imparted by the University of Cádiz, where I provide a 4 hour lecture on Marine Renewable Energy. It was a great experience to be able to share my knowldge in this topic with graduate students. The lecture covered the following topics:

      1. Topic background (EU targets for 2020, 2030 and 2050; theoretical and feasible power resource of marine energy)
      2. Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs)
      3. Types, Technologies, Costs, Environmental Impacts, and Installation Examples of the following types of marine renewable energies:
      4. Tools
      5. Proyect proposal preapartaion

    Further details of the Master can be found here: MEREE-UCA

  • March 21st, 2019. Blue Hub Lab event
  • I was invited to participate in the Blue Hub Lab where I presented the research projects in which the MORE Team from CIMA-UALG is involved with. Among them, I presented the goals of project OpTiCA. The Blue Hub Lab is an innitiative, as part of the projects PROteuS and MAESTRALE, promoted by the Division of Entrepreneurship and Technology Transfer of the University of Algarve (CRIA) to boost the blue economy, specifically in the areas of Blue Energy and Blue Growth. Both PROteuS and MAESTRALE projects are funded by the Interreg MED Programme, which supports projects developing innovative concepts and practices and promoting a reasonable use of resources. While project PROteuS aims at exploiting the growth potential of the emerging Maritime Surveillance industry, project MAESTRALE aims to lay the foundations for a strategy for the deployment of maritime energy in the Mediterranean area. As part of the dissemination activities, MAESTRALE organises Blue Energy Labs events taht are created in all participating countries as networking workshops among institutional, academia, civil society and industry actors to stimulate sharing of information and knowledge transfer.

  • March 13th, 2019. Erasmus+ Agrupamento de Escolas Dr.ª Laura Ayres from Finland, Czech Republic, Italy and Turkey
  • The Centre of Marine and Environmental Research (CIMA) of the University of Algarve received, under the Erasmus+ programme, the "Agrupamento de Escolas Dr.ª Laura Ayres" Group with a team of students and teachers from Finland, Czech Republic, Italy and Turkey.

    The project “UNION OF SOLAR SYSTEM VIA GEOGEBRA” aims to establish links between three interdependent disciplines, such as mathematics, astronomy and communication technologies, and my researchers colleagues Susana Costas, Sónia Cristina, Aikaterini Kompiadou and myself were incharged to clarify questions about:

      1. Validation of ocean colour sensors onboard satelite missions
      2. Modelling coastal processes:
          • What is a numerical model?
            • Assessing the impacts of tidal energy turbines
              • Wave modelling and applications
                • Modelling hydrodynamics of complex coastal systems
                  • Modelling coastal morphodynamics
                    • Integrating models in Early Warning Systems

                It follows some pictures of the event:

              • Dezember 4th, 2018. WAVEC Annual Seminar, Lisbon
              • I was invited to the WAVEC Annual Seminar event to present the research projects on marine renewable energies that the MORE team of the University of Algarve are involved with giving special attention to those projects that have UK partners. Every year at WAVEC there is an invited country, this year was the turn of UK. WAVEC is the leading research institution on marine renewable energy in Portugal, therefore, it was an honour to participate in this event, which gave me the opportunity to present a little bit the objectives of OpTiCA project.

                A video of my presentation as well as of the other participants can be found in the following LINK

                It follows the programme and a picture of the event:

              • November 22nd, 2018. Failure is part of the learning process
              • Today, I have received the notification letter that the projet proposal I led was rejected for funding. Well, there is not much to say. Sad news... There was a lot of time invested in it. We knew it was going to be difficult but at least we tried. Probably, around 6 out of 26 proposals are going to be funded... For me, it was a great experience to lead the proposal writing, I certainly learned a lot and I had the opportunity to know a little bit more on planning a project proposal and coordinating a consortium of institutions from several countries. At least we made it to the 2nd stage. Just 26 out of 94 submitted proposal made it to the 2nd phase. Not bad for being my first H2020-RIA proposal!

              • November 14th, 2018. "Estimating the optimum size of a tidal array at a multi-inlet system considering environmental and performance constraints" new paper published in the Applied Energy journal
              • VARTDAL, J.T., QASSIM, R.Y., MOKLIEV, B., UDJUS, G., GONZÁLEZ-GORBEÑA, E., 2018. Tidal turbine farm electrical power cable optimal configuration problem identification via traveling salesman problem modeling approach. Journal of Modern Power Systems and Clean Energy, :1-8. Doi: 10.1007/s40565-018-0472-7

                Abstract - Electrical power cables in tidal turbine farms contribute a significant share to capital expenditure (CAPEX). As a result, the routing of electrical power cables connecting turbines to cable collector hubs must be designed so as to obtain the least cost configuration. This is referred to as a tidal cable routing problem. This problem possesses several variants depending on the number of cable collector hubs. In this paper, these variants are modeled by employing the approach of the single depot multiple traveling salesman problem (mTSP) and the multiple depot mTSP of operational research for the single and multiple cable collector variants, respectively. The developed optimization models are computationally implemented using MATLAB. In the triple cable collector cable hub variant, an optimal solution is obtained, while good-quality suboptimal solutions are obtained in the double and single cable collector hub variants. In practice, multiple cable collector hubs are expected to be employed as the multiple hub configurations tend to be more economic than the single hub configurations. This has been confirmed by this paper for an optimal tidal turbine layout obtained with OpenTidalFarm. Suggestions are presented for future research studies comprising a number of heuristics.

              • October 4th, 2018. "Estimating the optimum size of a tidal array at a multi-inlet system considering environmental and performance constraints" new paper published in the Applied Energy journal
              • GORBEÑA E.G., PACHECO, A., PLOMARITIS, T., FERREIRA, Ó., SEQUEIRA, C., 2018. Estimating the optimum size of a tidal array at a multi-inlet system considering environmental and performance constraints. Applied Energy, 232:292-311. Doi: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2018.09.204

                Abstract - This paper investigates the optimum tidal energy converter array density at a tidal inlet by applying surrogate-based optimisation. The SBO procedure comprises problem formulation, design of experiments, numerical simulations, surrogate model construction and constrained optimisation. This study presents an example for the Faro-Olhão Inlet in the Ria Formosa (Portugal), a potential site for tidal in-stream energy extraction. A 35 kW Evopod™ floating tidal energy converter from Oceanflow Energy Ltd. has been used for array size calculations considering two design variables: (1) number of array rows, and (2) number of tidal energy converter per row. Arrays up to 13 rows with 6–11 tidal energy converters each are studied to assess their impacts on array performance, inlets discharges and bathymetry changes. The analysis identified the positive/negative feedbacks between the two design variables in real case complex flow fields under variable bathymetry and channel morphology. The non-uniformity of tidal currents along the array region causes the variability of the resource in each row, as well as makes it difficult to predict the resultant array configuration interactions. Four different multi-objective optimisation models are formulated subject to a set of performance and environmental constraints. Results from the optimisation models imply that the largest array size that meets the environmental constraints is made of 5 rows with 6 tidal energy converter each and an overall capacity factor of 11.6% resulting in an energy production of 1.01 GWh year−1. On the other hand, a higher energy production (1.20 GWh year−1) is achieved by an optimum array configuration, made of 3 rows with 10 tidal energy converters per row, which maximises power output satisfying environmental and performance restrictions. This optimal configuration permits a good level of energy extraction while having a reduced effect on the hydrodynamic functioning of the multi-inlet system. These results prove the suitability and the potential wide use of the surrogate-based optimisation method to define array characteristics that enhance power production and at the same time respect the environmental surrounding conditions.

              • July, 2018. Secondment 2: Marine Energy Research Group - Swansea University, Swansea, UK
              • During my Secondment with the Marine Energy Research Group of Swansea University, directed by Prof. Ian Masters, I had the chance to get some skills on using a Blade Element Momentum Computational Fluid Dynamics (BEM-CFD) model developed by Dr. Matthew Edmunds. The BEM-CFD model is based in OpenFOAM toolbox. The BEM-CFD method is an enhanced actuator disk and is able to reduce the computational cost by simulating a time averaged downstream velocity field. It accurately determines tip losses, which are a function of the hydrofoil geometry, by modifying the angle of attack to conform to the constraints outlined in Prandtl's lifting line theory, i.e. the zero lift angle of attack at the hydrofoil tip.

                I first started simulating an scaled Horizontal Axis Tidal Turbine (HATT) physicaly modelled at IFREMER flume tank. Then I continued simulating an array of two devices using the same scaled HATT. Finally, I managed to successfully model the Evopd E1 tidal energy converter. Results ares been processed to be compared with those measured during the deployment at the Faro-Olhão Inlet under the SCORE project Refer to Pacheco et al. (2018) for further details on the E1 deployment.

                It follows some figures showing some results of the BEM-CFD simulations. Figures are generated using Paraview visualization tool:

              • 7th International Conference on Ocean Energy 2018 // Cherbourg, France
              • As part of WP2 (Monitoring real TEC deployments), we delivered an oral presentation at the 7th ICOE. The title of the presentation is "Lessons learned from E1 Evopod Tidal Energy Converter deployment at Ria Formosa, Portugal". The work details the experience of the deployment of a small TEC prototype, the Evopod E1 (1 kW).

                Abstract - This paper presents the results of a pilot experiment with an existing tidal energy converter (TEC), Evopod 1 kW floatable prototype, in a real test case scenario (Faro Channel, Ria Formosa, Portugal). Operational results related to the description of power generation capacity, energy capture area and proportion of energy flux are presented and discussed. The data is now available to the scientific community and to TEC industry developers, enhancing the operational knowledge of TEC technology concerning efficiency, environmental effects, and interactions (i.e. device/environment).

              • The paper published in the proceedings can be accessed here: Paper.
              • The poster presented during the conference can be accessed here: Poster.
              • 23rd of May, 2018. Presentation of the MORE Team to the PELAGOS (Intereg-MED) consortium
              • On 23rd of May, at the University of Algarve, Team MORE members, Claudia Sequeira and Eduardo González Gorbeña, presented to the PELAGOS community the marine renewable energy projects in which we are involved. Claudia Sequeira is Science Advisor of PELAGOS, a project coordinated at the University of Algarve by CRIA (Division of Entrepreneurship and Technology Transfer of the University of Algarve). For more information visit the PELAGOS project website.

                It follows some pictures of the event:

              • 16th-17th of May, 2018. Visit to Sabella workshop and deployment site
              • By developing my Marie S. Curie project, OpTiCA, with the Marine Offshore Renewable Energy group from the Univesity of Algarve, I had the opportunity to collaborate in several tidal energy projects. One of them is the project MONITOR (Multi-model investigation of tidal energy converter reliability, EAPA_333/2016) coordinated by the Marine Energy Research Group of Swansea University, where UALG is leader of WP7: At Sea Testing. WP7 activities include: deploy and process oceanographic data from Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) site surveys; processing of meteo ocean datasets; collaborate with tidal developers on planning and installing tidal energy prototypes on two high energetic sites (Fall of Warness, Orkney Islands, Scotland and Fromveur Strait, France); analyse performance data from tidal turbines (ATIR from Magallanes Renovables and D10 from Sabella), combining physical and numerical models with real data from a deployment to optimise energy production.

                On May 16th-17th, we had a meeting at Sabella's workshop at BREST, where we saw D10 Device that was under maintenance operations. The D10 will be deployed at Fromveur Strair, île de Ouessant, offshore Brittany Coast on October 2018. It follows some pictures of Sabella's D10 device and of the deployment site:

                A brief description of project OpTiCA was recorded for Projetocópio radio show at Radio Universidade do Algarve, RUA FM.

                In order to estimate the optimum installed capacity of an tidal energy converter array for the Faro-Olhão channel, a DELFT3D hydromorphodynamic model for the whole Ria Formosa has been set-up, calibrated and validated. The purpose of using this model is to define what is the optimum size array, i.e. number of arry rows and number of TECs in each row, that maximises array capacity factor minimiseing detrimental environmental impacts, especifacally those associated with sedimentation/erosion rates and tidal prism.