Environmentally Friendly Marine Turbine Generator Continues Success in 2012 Australian Engineering Excellence AwardsNovember 23rd, 2012
R&D Consultancy “e3k” Wins Award
The SeaUrchin marine power generator is a revolutionary technology designed to economically capture the vast kinetic energy of the world’s ocean streams, tidal currents and river flows and convert it into a steady, reliable and therefore base load source of electricity.
This environmentally friendly innovation has added to its success in May this year as the overall winner of the 2012 Engineers Australia (Newcastle Division) Engineering Excellence Awards. At Engineers Australia’s National Awards night held at Parliament House in Canberra on 20th November 2012, the SeaUrchin Marine Power Generator won a coveted Australian Engineering Excellence Award from the original pool of several hundred entries.
The National Awards were contested by 42 finalists drawn from Divisional winners during 2012 and from a broad cross-section of engineering disciplines, across the nation. Six National Australian Excellence Awards were presented.
The SeaUrchin is the result of a long period of intensive collaboration, with engineers working together on different aspects of the design. Dr Ray Hope, Vice President of Queensland-based Research and Development firm e3k, has been involved in the project from its inception.
“Working on this project has been both a challenge and a pleasure,” said Dr Hope of the collaboration headed by Elemental Energy Technologies. “The task of optimising the operation of the turbine has been complex, and has involved the use of specialised software to accurately model the way the turbine interacts with its underwater environment to harness natural kinetic energy. Since the turbine is the SeaUrchin’s one and only moving part, it has been essential to make it operate efficiently.”
“Receiving such a prestigious award is a magnificent achievement, and provides national recognition of the hard work and dedication of all the engineers involved from e3k (a Division of Gilmore Engineers Pty Ltd), ATSA Defence Services Pty Ltd, RPC Technologies Pty Ltd, and Elemental Energy Technologies Ltd,” said Dr Hope.
Judges for the awards were quoted as saying “With only one moving part the technology is capable of extracting energy in both low and high flow rates and true scalability in operation in arrays has the potential to contribute predictable base load power. It harnesses up to four times more power and is up to 70% more efficient than conventional “propeller” driven, marine generators commonly used today.”
Dr Duncan Gilmore, President of e3k, said “This prestigious award illustrates how Australian Engineers are at the forefront of building a sustainable world community.”
MC Catriona Rowntree & Dr Ray Hope of e3k
Congratulations to Elemental Energy Technologies Ltd (EET) who in a joint submission with engineering team members e3k, ATSA and RPC took home three awards at the recent Engineering Excellence Awards in Newcastle for the Engineering of their new generation of Sea Urchin Tidal Turbines.
The Awards presentation was held on 11th May 2012 and from 16 finalists the team won the award for Innovation in Sustainable Engineering, one of three Engineering Excellence awards and out of those three the overall award for Engineering Excellence.
e3k played a vital role in the development of EET’s new generation of Tidal Turbines. e3k initially performed an engineering review of their turbine technology and provided valuable ideas for improvements. e3k also produced new and improved designs of turbines for EET using advanced Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) in the design process to optimise innovative flow enhancement technology and produce highly efficient turbines. e3k have also designed equipment for, and provided Engineering assistance to EET during in-water trials.
Dr Ray Hope, Vice President of Engineering at e3k, was at the awards and said to receive three awards was a magnificent achievement and a great recognition of the hard work and dedication that all the Engineers and staff at e3k, ATSA, RPC, and EET have put into this project to make the Sea Urchin Tidal Turbines an innovative and leading edge technology solution for green power.
e3k has played a vital role in the development of Elemental Energy Technologies Ltd (EET) new generation of Tidal Turbines. e3k started working for EET in 2008 performing an engineering review of their turbine technology. e3k later performed Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) on early designs of EET turbines to predict turbine performance and recommend design improvements.
Following this e3k were contracted to produce new and improved designs of the main components of the turbine, including the stator, rotor, cowling and ejector. e3k used CFD to investigate and test numerous design options and then iteratively improve the performance of a number of different turbine sizes for EET. Recently e3k have also designed equipment for use in trials of a prototype SU550, 2kW, EET turbine on the Georges River in Sydney, Australia. e3k provided Engineering assistance and during the trials and produced independent reports for EET documenting the trials and performance results.
The SU550 EET turbine has been entered into the Newcastle division of the 2012 Engineering Excellence Awards. The entry is a combined effort from EET, e3k, ATSA (the designers of the generator), and RPC (the manufacturer of the turbine).
Here is the latest video from Elemental Energy Technologies Ltd.
Engineers Australia (Queensland) held the Engineering Excellence Awards 2010 presentation night on October 8th 2010 at the Great Hall of the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre. This is a premier event on the calendar of engineers throughout Queensland. The stated purpose of the awards is to “promote industry excellence, foster leadership, and encourage innovation and sustainability.”
Entries came from fields as diverse as the building of a suspended 25m concrete swimming pool at Brisbane Girls Grammar, to the roadside tolling systems used in the free-flow traffic control on Brisbane’s Gateway arterial road network.
E3k joined with Leighton Contractors to become finalists in the Research and Development category of the Awards. The entry was based on mathematical models developed to provide benchmarks for the consumption of energy used in hauling ore within large mining operations. A single algorithm was then developed which could be applied to assess the energy efficiency of individual machines over time and set targets for improvement in their consumption of energy. This same formula can also be applied to assist in the design of more energy efficient mine sites and the selection of vehicles appropriate to each site.
From the highly competitive field of entrants, the overall Award for the evening was presented to Project Services (Department of Public works) for their 6-star green office design, which houses the Joint Contact Centre at Zilmere on Brisbane’s northside.
The staff of e3k would like to congratulate all those who not only won awards, but who participated in this prestigious event and who, every day, use their skills and knowledge to help create a more sustainable, safe and aesthetically pleasing environment for all Australians.
E3k was there as Business Acumen held their inaugural Innovation Exhibition in the heart of Brisbane City on 26 & 27 July, 2010. This event provided an excellent opportunity for e3k and others to showcase their ingenuity to the general public and fellow participants.
Those attending the exhibition were encouraged to explore any element of research and development or commercialisation with one of the three e3k staff members who were on hand each day of the exhibition. For those who preferred to look rather than chat, e3k provided a power point presentation featuring the various aspects of innovation and the engineering techniques used to “turn ideas into reality”.
A feature of the event was the Seminar Program made up of 50 minute lectures on interesting topics such as “Selling your Innovation” and “Are you ready to commercialise?” These educational workshops were hosted by experts in their field and proved valuable to all who attended them during the event. The success of these discussions will no doubt see them become an integral part of future exhibitions.
The exhibition also gave e3k staff the opportunity to renew their acquaintance with previous associates and introduce themselves to others who share their passion for innovation. Other exhibitors included:
• UniQuest — the primary commercialisation company of the University of Queensland;
• Navman — now a recognised leader in GPS Technology which had humble beginnings in the garage of an innovator in 1986;
• Infinity Design who specialise in creating valuable and patentable intellectual property for their clients;
• Global Roto-Moulding – a connectable underground water storage company which grew from a part-time family business in 1998 to having factories in both Queensland and Victoria in 2010;
• Intellectual Ventures – With its headquarters in Bellevue, Washington, this company links inventors and investors through its extensive global database of ideas just waiting to become reality.
• Mullins Lawyers – a Queensland based law firm using their considerable expertise to assist businesses protect and commercialise their intellectual property.
• Austral Jaguar also chose the Innovation Exhibition as the ideal location for the Australian debut of the Jaguar XJ.
If you did not have the chance to visit the Innovation Exhibition for 2010, perhaps we will see you there next year. In any case you will be pleased to know that innovation is alive and thriving in Queensland.
E3k would like to congratulate Atlantis Resources Corporation on its successful deployment of the World’s largest and most powerful AK1000 tidal turbine into the sea off Orkney, Scotland.
The progress of this project has been followed with keen interest by e3k since 2000 when Mr Michael Perry met with e3k engineers to explore the idea of generating power from the tidal currents off the east coast of Australia. Mr Perry created Atlantis Energy Limited (AEL) and Dr Gilmore of e3k joined its board as a Director. Together they set about developing a device which was capable of harnessing energy from ocean currents and at the same time was unique and patentable.
Start-up funds were raised from private investors on the back of a U.S. Patent [No 7,654,082] for Intellectual Property developed by e3k engineers: Dr Duncan Gilmore, Dr Raymond Hope, Ms Melissa Kruger and Ms Carmen Keating; together with Mr Michael Perry and Mr Gary Campbell. The technology is known as “Nereus” and is now being commercialised by Altlantis Resources Corporation.
Whilst the 1,430 ton giant recently installed at the European Marine Energy Centre bears little resemblance to the original Nereus prototype [which was towed behind a fishing trawler in the Clarence River in Northern New South Wales, Australia, and subsequently installed off Victoria, Australia to generate power into the mainland electricity grid], this has in no way diminished the pride with which e3k observes the latest stage of Atlantis Resources Corporation’s continued developments in harnessing energy from ocean currents.
As of 1 May 2009 the Building Code of Australia requires all calculation reports for demonstrating the performance of insulation products to be carried out according to the 2006 amendment of AS/NZS 4859.1:2002. This means any product labeling and promotional materials showing calculated system R-values should be updated to meet the changes in the 2006 amendment.
See the Australian Building Codes Board for more information.
The amendment includes adjustments to a product’s tested emissivity, in Section K3.2. These adjustments are summarised as follows:
-For vertical and downward facing surfaces, emissivity of 0.03 or as tested, whichever is greater
-For upward facing surfaces in non-vented cavities where the cavity is fully sealed, emissivity of 0.03 or as tested, whichever is greater
-For upward facing surfaces in non-vented cavities where no special precautions for the prevention of air ingress have been included, assume slight dust cover and add 0.05 to the tested emissivity
-For upward facing surfaces in naturally ventilated space, assume moderate dust cover and add 0.25 to the tested emissivity.
Section K4.2 of the amendment addresses the ventilation of roofs, walls and floors. The implication of this section is that tile roofs are assumed to be naturally ventilated; whereas metal roofs are assumed to be non-vented. This means that any reflective foil insulation installed directly under a tiled roof will be penalised with an additional 0.25 added to the tested emissivity for moderate dust cover.
Section 3.12.1 in volume two of the Building Code of Australia gives the requirements for building thermal insulation. Table 188.8.131.52 gives the minimum total R-Value for different climate zones, with the minimum being 2.7 downwards for zone 1 and the maximum 4.8 upwards for zone 8.
The effect of the amendment will mean that some systems, particularly tiled roofs with the insulation installed parallel to a roof, and including an anti-glare upper surface, and without any sarking, will not achieve an R-Value of 2.7.
One solution to this problem is to use reflective foil and bubble cell insulations in new installations in a similar manner to the retrofit case. This would mean specifying systems for new installations with a reflective sarking (with an upward facing anti-glare surface and a downward facing low emissivity silver surface) under tile roofs, (metal roofs may not need the sarking) and install reflective insulation parallel to the ceiling with both upper and lower surfaces being low emissivity silver.
By Jodie Kemp
The Australian Government seeks to improve the energy efficiency rating of Australian homes through its $4 billion Energy Efficient Homes Package. This is the largest measure of this kind ever to be undertaken in Australia and represents a significant opportunity for the insulation industry.
Ceiling insulation is one area being particularly targeted. As part of the package, assistance may be granted:
Up to the value of $1,600 through the Homeowner Insulation Program, and
Up to the value of $1,000 through the Low Emission Assistance Plan for Renters.
These programs will remain in effect until 30 June 2011 for renters and landlords, and 31 December 2011 for owner-occupiers.
Since 2004, e3k has been working with industry leaders to calculate and identify the “total R-Value” of various building structures, that is, a structure’s overall resistance to heat transfer. This is an essential quantity for compliance with the relevant standard*, the Building Code of Australia, and to qualify for the grants.
Comparing different products in various installation configurations can be challenging. The total R-Value provides a benchmark against which to measure, and is required for effective comparison.
With the knowledgeable and experienced help available through e3k, insulation suppliers can position themselves to benefit to the fullest from this environmentally friendly initiative.
For further information on the Energy Efficient Homes Package, click here
Download the Homeowner Insulation Program Guidelines as a PDF here
* Australian and New Zealand Standard, AS/NZS 4859.1:2002/Amdt 1:2006 Material for the thermal insulation of buildings