Blue Accelator test platform near Oostende, Belgium as test lab for new developments in blue energy | Flanders Marine Institute

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Blue Accelator test platform near Oostende, Belgium as test lab for new developments in blue energy

Added on 2018-05-11
With the approval of the Blue Accelerator project by the Flemish government, the starting shot was given to the development of a maritime test platform in the Belgian part of the North Sea, 500 meters outside the port of Ostend. This new innovation and development platform will serve as a 'living lab' to perform tests in the context of the expansion of Blue Energy projects (offshore wind energy, and wave and tidal energy) and the broader blue economy. After all, for the efficient research on technological developments it is extremely necessary to be able to scale up and test these in real-life sea conditions. The Blue Accelerator platform meets these needs of scientific institutions and maritime companies.

Simulation of Blue Accelerator platform 500 meters outside the port of Ostend. Depending on the tide, the construction will protrude 13-18 meters above sea level. © NEMOS

The Blue Accelerator project is funded for 1,5 million euros by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), with co-financing of 735.400 euros by the Flemish government (Hermes fund). The test platform will be developed by the Provincial Development Company (POM) West Flanders and will be exploited until 2033.

VLIZ is – just like Ghent University, VIVES University of Applied Science, VITO and TUA West – involved as a scientific partner in the project. Specifically VLIZ will be responsible to carry out measurements of environmental parameters on and near the test platform, to provide scientific and technical support in carrying out the tests, and to act as a point of contact for knowledge institutes.

It is anticipated that the following measurements, research and tests will be carried out on the platform (non-exhaustive): wave energy conversion, corrosion and abrasion research, cable manipulations, research on resistive resistance, materials research, meteorological measurement mast, research on underwater substrates, research on stratification, drone platform, ROV and kite technology … The test setups take place both in the context of research by knowledge institutes and commercial companies.

Contact at VLIZ: Hans Pirlet and André Cattrijsse

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