Pull and Lock Marine (PALM)
Apollo Offshore Engineering Ltd
Final public reporting from this project is due to be published in Summer 2020.
For further information on the current status, please contact the Lead Applicant.
The Pull and Lock Marine (PALM) connector proposes robust, reliable and repeatable connections of the Wave Energy Converter (WEC) in a short, simple marine operation.
The PALM is based around a submerged buoy mooring with an integrated electrical riser. Tugs are used to position the WEC, engage the PALM and complete the mechanical and electrical connection. The core innovation is the design of a formed plug component and catcher arm. Coarse and fine guide slots ensure tight alignment, so that electrical connection can be completed simultaneously. The resulting linkage is fully articulated, while riser tension ensures continuous connection in all sea states. Disconnection is effectively the reverse of the connection operation.
All components are based on proven marine technology. The number of moving parts is kept to a minimum, and load-bearing components are rugged.
In Stage 1, Apollo assessed the technical and commercial feasibility of the PALM connector. We evolved the mechanism with engineering calculations and 3D modelling, while making initial decisions on materials and fabrication options. CAPEX and OPEX cost estimates were prepared and an overall risk assessment undertaken. The feasibility report includes a concept specification.