The maximum discharge of wave energy from the Atlantic Ocean is along the west coasts of Ireland and Scotland. Harnessing the energy from those waves to be turned into a supply of electricity for domestic and industrial use requires the testing of devices capable of converting wave energy to electrical energy; ways of bringing that energy onshore; and understanding the maintenance of the energy capture devices.
Ireland’s Marine Test and Demonstration Facility for renewable energy is located in Galway Bay, and the cabled observatory is a key component of the facility. The power and data cable runs from the shore station in Spiddal to an underwater node. This node is a frame with various ports and socket for connecting a range of underwater sensors to the observatory system. The environmental data collected by this system will assist in evaluating test energy capture devices and their performance, reliability and longevity in a real-world marine setting.
The observatory in Galway Bay is an important contribution by Ireland to the growing global network of real-time data capture systems deployed within the ocean – technology giving us new insights into the ocean which we have not had before. Data can be viewed in real-time here and the data archives may be accessed here.Click a thumbnail to view fullscreen