A TEAM EFFORT
SME Managing Director Jason Hayman said "We would like to acknowledge all of the support we have had throughout the delivery of our anchor project. It has extended all the way from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and Innovate UK down to our development partners Rockbit UK Ltd and Leask Marine who have gone out of their way to make everything possible." He continued saying "I'd also personally like to thank all of our team who have worked long hours, and sometimes in quite adverse conditions throughout the development and testing programme of both the anchors and AROV."
The AROV first saw action in the Solent in 2014 installing helical screw piles into the clay seabed to moor PLAT-O for its initial Yarmouth trials. Since then the company has tackled two streams of technology development; development of an expanding rock anchor that requires no grout for installation, and integrating the required technology in the AROV package to enable remote installation at 30+m of depth in an extreme tidal environment.
ANCHORS WILL BENEFIT OTHER INDUSTRIES
The 3.5m length anchors have a nominal holding capacity of 100t dependent on the type of the rock they are installed into. Building off this success SME is now working to develop a range of anchors with even greater holding capacity and suitable for a range of substrates.
"This is a very exciting time for SME"
said David Stoddart-Scott, Head of Project Development. "Not only are we making great progress with the PLAT-O tidal energy platform, but we are also developing subsea anchoring solutions for rock and clay. We will be offering these to the marine industry as a whole. Whilst we will be busy deploying anchors for our own projects, we have also had a number of enquiries from a range of companies who are looking to benefit from our innovative technology. We are in the early stages, but substantial cost savings over conventional gravity anchors are possible. We think this will be a tempting prospect to the marine energy and aquaculture industries. We expect to perform our first customer deployment for a wave energy developer later this year."