Wave and tidal energy design tool DTOcean has been launched as an open source software package. The tool’s developers say it will assist project developers to design wave and tidal energy arrays by identifying optimal layouts, components and procedures.

Open Hydro turbine deployment

Open Hydro turbine deployment

An active but growing user community is emerging around DTOcean, which industry and research communities are encouraged to join.

DTOcean has been produced through a three-year collaborative project funded by the European Commission. It gathered 18 international partners including utilities, project developers, industrial suppliers and R&D organisations including significant names such as DEME, Iberdrola, Prysmian, and Vattenfall, coordinated by the University of Edinburgh.

Henry Jeffrey, coordinator of the DT Ocean project, said: “Access to high quality design tools is a pre-requisite for reducing costs in complex engineering projects, such as such as wave and tidal arrays. With the world’s first ocean energy arrays now under construction, the launch of DTOcean is very timely”.

The DTOcean software package is now available as a free download along with manuals and tutorials from the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre website: https://setis.ec.europa.eu/dt-ocean/

Given a set of user inputs regarding the chosen wave or tidal energy converter and array location, DTOcean can identify optimal layouts, balance of plant including specific components and logistics procedures for that array. Optimisation is based on the Levelised Cost of Energy (LCoE), and further feedback on reliability and environmental impact is provided.

The software also includes computational modules around, moorings, foundations and layouts, which can also be run in isolation from the wider tool for specific tasks.

This project was funded by the European Union’s Seventh Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement No 608597.

By Jake Frith