Xi Engineering: Xi Engineering had previous experience working with the ETP on a separate project involving the Centre for Signal and Image Processing at Strathclyde. Their core business is to provide noise and vibration solutions to a wide range of industries with a predominant focus on the renewables sector. One issue that came to light in the last 6 months is the problem of tonal noise in a wind turbine tower. The tower is known to have several resonant frequencies corresponding with the main operating modes of the drive- train. Thus if any of these modes are excited by the tower it will result in amplification of vibration and emission of problematic tonal noise. The ETP funded a consultancy project, in conjunction with Heriot-Watt to investigate the use and viability of Xi’s Advanced Particle Damping (APD) pods to mitigate these vibrations within the frequency band of 100Hz-145Hz. The project looked at exciting a steel plate at the desired frequencies and investigated how much of an improvement the use of APD pods may have in reducing tonal noise and therefore displacement. The results were promising and showed a reduction of up to 15dB with a number of APD pods placed at regular intervals across the steel plate.
Following on from this, there were discussions about using the afore-mentioned project as a baseline and expanding the scope to look at noise mitigation offshore. However, unfortunately this project was not submitted within the constrained time-frame left of KENII. Therefore, any further work was placed on hold. However, this project is still viable and there is now an opportunity to engage with Xi on future studies in KENII. The company have expressed how positive the experience of working with Heriot-Watt has been, specifically in terms of gaining access to testing facilities which they do not currently have.
Linknode: The ETP contacted Linknode primarily because of their locality to Strathclyde. There had been previous engagement but nothing substantial in terms of support or indeed a consultancy project. Linknode’s key area of expertise lies in software development for mobile devices. They provide mobile 3D visualisation apps and services with specialism in the convergence of location, sensors, devices and model data for geospatial augmented reality (AR) - GIality. Their flagship solution, known as VentusAR, has already been commercialised for wind, solar and grid infrastructure planning projects within industry. This application enables in-field visualisation and allows a development to be visualised from any location, pre-planned or not. It helps dynamically assess, reduces return visits and shortens development cycles. This means lowers costs, improved use of resources time saving. However, one issue that is currently being faced is how to adequately assess terrain landform features from captured images and how to process them in the minimum amount of time. As it stands, any discrepancy between the virtual reality reconstruction and the image has to be manually calibrated to account for roll, pitch and yaw error relative to the camera’s fixed position. As such, Linknode hoped to solve this issue by collaborating with Strathclyde’s signal processing department.
Strathclyde (CeSIP) have developed algorithms which can reconstruct exact 3D visualisations of infrastructure using captured images from a camera/or robotic device. Linknode hoped to use this to produce an exact 3D reconstruction of a potential site built through a generated 3D point mesh. This would then be validated with reference to the Ordnance Survey open data (currently used to validate their existing software). Unfortunately, as this was a research project, the scope changed throughout the project. The end result was a quantitative comparison of certain algorithms used for 3D reconstruction applied to this problem. Whilst not the original intended output, the company were satisfied just knowing the problems that need to be solved using this methodology have been highlighted. As they are local, there is plenty of scope for future partnerships and collaborations.
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