Forum ROV to support University of Limerick’s renewables research
Aberdeen, UK 9th May 2018 – Forum Energy Technologies, Inc. has delivered a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) to the University of Limerick (UL) to support its research into subsea inspection and intervention campaigns on renewable energy sector infrastructure.
Designed and manufactured in-house at Forum’s Kirkbymoorside Yorkshire facility, the Comanche 2,000 metre observation class ROV was officially launched at the docks in Limerick City by Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen TD.
The Comanche ROV was selected due to its high thrust-to-drag ratio enabling it to operate in strong currents, typical conditions for the offshore renewables industry. The ROV is equipped to a high specification with precision positioning and navigation systems, camera and lighting systems and sonars. The systems will be used as a test bed for research to develop capabilities for inspection, maintenance and repair work on Marine Renewable Energy (MRE) infrastructure in the challenging strong wave and current conditions at MRE test-sites and offshore MRE sites in Ireland and further afield. The ROV system is home ported at Limerick Docks in the Republic of Ireland.
Researchers at UL’s Centre for Robotics and Intelligence Systems (CRIS) further enhanced the system with UL-developed advanced control software (OceanRings), precision navigation and flight control, state-of-the-art robotic imaging and sonar systems and fully automated manipulator systems.
The vehicle will be housed at Limerick Docks where experimentation, testing and demonstration will be carried out. It will also be mobilised on vessels at other ports in Ireland.
Kevin Taylor, Vice President for Subsea Vehicles at Forum, said: “We are very pleased to see the delivery and launch of Forum’s Comanche ROV which will support the University of Limerick’s renewables sector research team. The inspection and maintenance of subsea infrastructure is vitally important to the longevity and sustainability of subsea assets and this observation class ROV is a perfect fit for these types of projects.
“On a strategic level, our ties with global research organisations are proving very successful this year. They include vehicle sales to an academic institution in Russia to support its oceanography research work.”
University of Limerick President, Dr Des Fitzgerald, stated: “The advanced robotics technology developed at UL will be crucial in supporting the burgeoning marine renewable energy sector. It will also play a significant role in reducing the cost of installing and maintaining large-scale offshore energy generation infrastructure. As the worldwide marine renewable energy sector grows, UL’s research contribution in this area will have even greater impact.”
The Centre for Robotics and Intelligent Systems at the University of Limerick was established in 2000 by Director Dr. Daniel Toal. It is a partner in SFI National Centre for Marine and Renewable Energy Ireland (MaREI). CRIS is the only research centre focused on the application and development of marine robotics within the island of Ireland. This research centre consists of a mix of postdoctoral researchers and PhD students from various disciplines including electronic, computer, mechanical and aeronautical engineering backgrounds. The research centre brings together a highly capable engineering group focused on developing practical and industrial relevant marine technologies. From marine robotics to navigation, sensor development, emergency response planning, ROVs and unmanned aerial (UAS) technologies, they are actively involved in developing a diverse range of practical technologies in UK funded, European funded and industry collaborative projects.
Forum Energy Technologies, Inc. is a global oilfield products company, serving the subsea, drilling, completion, production and infrastructure sectors of the oil and natural gas industry. The Company’s products include highly engineered capital equipment as well as products that are consumed in the drilling, well construction, production and transportation of oil and natural gas. Forum is headquartered in Houston, TX with manufacturing and distribution facilities strategically located around the globe.