CORE: Center for Ocean Renewable Energy Facilities
The UNH Center for Ocean Renewable Energy (CORE) physical infrastructure is unique in terms of proximity, ease of access, and favorable test site characteristics. It consists of the Chase Ocean Engineering (OE) Laboratory with wave/tow tank, engineering tank and water and wind tunnels, the General Sullivan Bridge tidal energy site, the UNH Pier and the AMAC/wave energy site. Mooring grids, historical environmental and survey data, and support vessels are readily available.
The map above shows key sites of the Center for Ocean Renewable Energy (CORE), University of New Hampshire: Ocean Engineering Laboratory, Tidal and Wave Energy Test Sites, UNH Pier (staging, support vessels). Note the geographic proximity (horizontal bar = 2.5 miles). (Click on image to enlarge)
Tidal Energy Test Site
The UNH tidal energy test site is at the General Sullivan Bridge where the Lower Piscataqua enters Little Bay through a constriction. The tidal range is nominally 8.2 ft (2.5 m), and approximately 40 percent of the volume of Great Bay flows under the bridge every tidal cycle. This results in peak current speeds of greater than 4 knots (2 m/s), as well as relatively short periods of slack water and a steep current speed ramp-up. UNH-CORE faculty have modeled the dynamics of this tidal system in several studies. This site is considered a full-scale test site for vertical axis turbines, while it can be considered a “large-scale” test site (geometric scale 1:3-1:5) for large diameter horizontal axis turbines.
Wave Energy Test Site
The wave energy test site is located at the UNH Atlantic Marine Aquaculture (AMAC) site, which covers an area of 30 acres in 170 ft (52 m) of water approximately 6 miles from the New Hampshire coast. It has been successfully deployed under extreme New England winter conditions as a demonstration site for open ocean aquaculture for the past 10 years. The site has a subsurface mooring system and a large feed buoy (AMAC) is available as a useable platform and a potential end user load for any wave energy extraction device. The site comes with a dedicated 50 ft research vessel (Meriel B). Available environmental data consisting of wave monitoring, benthic and water column environmental data, and bathymetry obtained by the UNH Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping (C-COM) will be essential for the quick successful deployment of a given energy extraction device, and makes this a cost effective wave energy test site.