Supacat highlights role in Fred. Olsen’s BOLT Wave Energy Converter “Lifesaver” - the first installation at FabTest UK in Falmouth
Tuesday 22nd May 2012
Supacat is promoting its harsh environment design engineering capability at All Energy, the UK’s largest renewables event, and highlighting its role as a strategic partner to Fred. Olsen Ltd. in the development of the BOLT Wave Energy Converter, “Lifesaver”. In March “Lifesaver” became the first installation to be commissioned at FabTest UK, Falmouth, where it is undergoing full scale sea testing.
An innovative technology development project, “BOLT-2-Wavehub” was part funded by the UK Technology Strategy Board (TSB). UK Company Fred. Olsen Ltd. developed “Lifesaver” in close co-ordination with a team of UK based innovative engineering companies, which in addition to Supacat includes University of Exeter (Cornwall Campus) and Scotrenewables. Supacat is one of the team’s key design and build partners and, working closely with Fred. Olsen has helped achieve the objectives set for the wave energy converter including reduction in manufacturing, deployment, installation and through-life costs. Supacat has used its experience, recently honed on developing a new Lifeboat Launch System for the RNLI, to bring a solution to the challenge of extreme and harsh marine environment conditions. “Lifesaver” is now operational and performing as designed in the trials. Although FabTest is a ` testing site` and a precursor to installation at Wave Hub (a grid-connected site 10 nautical miles off the north coast of Cornwall) “Lifesaver” has already performed well in conditions of waves up to 5 metres.
"Through the extensive marine experiences of Fred. Olsen related companies we have learned the considerable value that detailed, careful sea testing of new marine devices offers projects such as BOLT "Lifesaver". We also recognize the value in working with key partners, such as Supacat, through the delivery of innovative projects. Supacat have provided vital engineering skills – from design to build - and remain a firm part of the complete marine renewables solution." Tore Gulli, Project Director at Fred. Olsen Ltd.Based at Dunkeswell, Devon, Supacat has a complete engineering capability spanning design, prototyping, testing and trialing, certification and low rate production. Services include system integration and support services across post design services, repairs, spares, to deployed support on site.
“Our partnership with Fred. Olsen to develop BOLT “Lifesaver” marks Supacat’s entry into the renewable energy sector. Our culture is innovative. We always want to find a better design, and combine this with rigorous review, scheduling and configuration control. We believe we can bring new and robust solutions to this developing industry”, says Nick Ames, Managing Director, Supacat.
Supacat has been best known for high mobility vehicles, such as `Jackal` operated by British Armed Forces in Afghanistan and by numerous Special Forces. Over recent years the company has been successfully diversifying into new sectors where its hostile environment engineering skills can be applied, such as renewable energy and marine.