After months of hard work civil engineering students Calvin Lee and Jeremy Lee from the Faculty of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences, supervised by Wenhua Zhao & Scott Draper from UWA and Ben Witton from Woodside, have presented a model scale field test of the Safe Marine Transport Subsea Shuttle Concept.
Safe Marine Transfer (SMT) are a company based in Houston, who are experts in the field of subsea chemical storage and injection. The Subsea Shuttle Concept is designed to eliminate the need for long chemical and hydraulic pipelines, and may be used to transport subsea structures out to remote sites cheaply.
The student’s research was undertaken in the Swan River, which provided a model scale ‘ocean-like’ environment in which to test the shuttle concept. Model tests involved lowering the shuttle to the riverbed and recording the motions of the shuttle using novel sensors and underwater video. Comparisons of the experiments were also made with numerical simulations to understand the best way to deploy the shuttle safely.
Woodside, who have partnered with UWA for this project, organised a demonstration of the technology at the Claremont Jetty. In attendance were representatives from both Woodside and local subsea installation contractors. The 1:50 scale model demonstrated how the technology would operate and could be used to test conditions that may be found in the real world.
The attendees were impressed with the technology. Dr Martin Davies, SSPL Technology Lead from Woodside Energy said “The presentation was both fantastic and fascinating. It was not only a good demonstration of this technology, but a great and well taken opportunity to showcase the opportunities and potential value in industry collaboration via UWA, Riverlab and Futurelab”.
The research is one of several projects that are being undertaken in the Swan River as part of the RiverLab initiative (http://www.oceans.uwa.edu.au/collaborations/woodside-futurelab/riverlab). The UWA academic supervisor of the shuttle project, Shell Senior Research Fellow Wenhua Zhao said ‘This project is an excellent example of students learning about engineering in the real world through collaboration with industry’.
A video explaining the subsea shuttle concept in greater detail can be found here.
Ben Robson (UWA Faculty of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences) (+61 8) 6488 7501