Ocean News & Technology Article – Intelligent Energy Management: Crucial to Future Underwater Developments
By Richard Knox, Managing Director, Verlume
(Published in the April edition of Ocean News & Technology, page 30. Full magazine available here.)
Offshore clean energy systems are an ideal solution for the growing need to reduce the emissions associated with hydrocarbon production, particularly as a means of powering longer offsets and reducing the costs of otherwise marginal fields.
A study conducted by Rystad Energy in January 2022 showed that, of around 80 oil and gas projects worth a total of $85 billion in the global pipeline for 2022, 45 of these will involve subsea tiebacks.¹ These subsea tiebacks are a great opportunity for driving low-carbon production systems across worldwide energy projects. With such a significant number of subsea tiebacks due to come online and given that no two tiebacks are the same, there is a growing need for a diverse range of power generation systems as inputs.
Through industry projects, Verlume has engaged with a number of wave energy developers in order to integrate clean energy into oil and gas infrastructure and wider energy applications. These devices are scalable and adaptable for a variety of environments, where prevailing wavelengths and depths will differ. Other potential solutions include tidal energy and floating solar farms and of course, offshore wind.
Across these multiple types of energy inputs, an energy management system is the gateway between the clean energy input and secure energy delivery for subsea tieback projects. Effective energy management will allow the power to be used exactly when and where it is required, building resilience to overcome the challenges related to the intermittency of renewable energy production. Therefore, energy management will make it easier to implement alternatives to the traditional, fossil fuelled methods of power delivery, allowing seamless integration of clean energy systems.
Verlume’s Intelligent Energy Management System (IEMS) provides this gateway as an energy management system which is customisable and scalable for a range of different applications. The IEMS is power generation agnostic, meaning that we can adapt the technology to suit any renewable energy input, which autonomously manages delivery to multiple payloads, providing energy security and availability at all times.
Demand side management capabilities can add efficiency and reliability to the energy system. Verlume has a suite of tools for creating a detailed model of power input and demand versus time, to create a digital twin of the energy system for continued optimisation.
Where possible, we have developed IEMS to be agnostic in terms of energy storage mediums for configuration as a standalone or integrated system. For example, the IEMS could be integrated with Verlume’s Halo device, a scalable, modular battery energy storage system. Halo is currently part of a world-first autonomous offshore power sea trial at the US Navy Wave Energy Test Site, Hawaii which will demonstrate the integration of a selection of novel subsea technologies to deliver a reliable source of power as well as real-time over-the-horizon bi-directional data communications.
With over half of this year’s new oil and gas developments across the world set to feature subsea tiebacks and with an increasing focus on the carbon intensity of offshore operations, the capability to be able to integrate any renewable energy technology and to intelligently manage this will be crucial to the underwater operations of the future.