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Carnegie wave energy

Kenny, Steven Carnegie wave energy. Internship Report, Murdoch University.

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This report encompasses the key works undertaken whilst completing an electrical engineering internship with Carnegie Wave Energy Ltd (CWE). Before commencing, program specific and personal objectives were developed to address the needs of the company, provide the backbone of the major tasks to be completed, and identify opportunities for professional development. The two tasks detailed in this report are the deployment of the Acoustic Wave and Current (AWAC) meter, and the engineering and testing of Buoyant Actuator (BA)/Pods subsea power systems.

Both tasks revolved around providing subsea power solutions to the data collection and analysis components of the Perth Wave Energy Project (PWEP) to assist in the verification of model accuracy against actual system performance. Deploying the AWAC meter will enable the system performance to be analyzed against real-time wave and current characteristics. To power the device, a rechargeable subsea battery system was engineered. The instrument and system performance were then tested, deployment and recovery procedures were developed, and the unit was deployed. Upon retrieval, the data was processed and maintenance procedures were conducted in preparation for future use. Completing this task provided CWE with valuable wave and current characteristics data, an engineered subsea rechargeable battery system to power the AWAC, and procedures and protocols to provide guidance for future deployments.

A BA is a submerged semi-spherical shell which is moved up and down by ocean waves, driving a pump to pressurise seawater. The water is then sent to shore via a hydraulic management unit known as a Pod. In the PWEP, both the BA and Pods are connected to various sensors and monitoring equipment to gain greater understanding of system performance. This task required the design and testing of a suitable subsea power system to power the measuring devices. The engineering strategy was to identify the system requirements, obtain the relevant components, implement and test the system, and develop a factory acceptance test (FAT) document and instructors manual. The completed works have resulted in the development of a system prototype which will provide the foundation from which the remainder of the testing, configuration, and maintenance procedures will be conducted.

Major challenges associated with achieving the tasks above included operating within the subsea environment, the unique nature of the wave energy industry, and long lead times of required equipment and materials. A combination of strategies were employed to overcome these challenges through utilising resourcing and research, innovation, adhering to stringent documentation process, and utilising technologies with a proven performance. The above tasks provided significant exposure to the engineering industry, facilitating the accomplishment of the project objectives.

This internship provided the opportunity to contribute in a meaningful way to CWE’s PWEP objectives whilst simultaneously providing the opportunity to develop professional skillsets and employee attributes.

Item Type: Internship Report (Bachelor of Engineering)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Engineering and Energy
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