Emerald Isle Bound for EWTEC 2017

We are packing our bags and heading to Cork, Ireland for the 12th Annual European Wave and Tidal Energy Conference (EWTEC). EWTEC brings together leaders in research and development in ocean renewable energy. DSA is privileged to be counted among the attendees.

Our team has put together our top reasons for attending EWTEC, and to let you know what we will be up to while we are there…

  1. To learn:

  •     To Increase our understanding of emerging markets and technologies
  •     Expand our technical expertise through seminar attendance
  •     Visit the global leader in ocean energy – the UK and Ireland currently have more wave and tidal energy devices tested than the rest of the world combined
  1. To network:

  •     Representatives from over 40 countries are in attendance
  •     100+ speakers are sharing thoughts and experiences on ocean energy
  •     Over 400 ocean energy delegates will be in attendance
  •     International exhibitors – find DSA at the Canadian Pavilion.
  •     Connecting with decision makers from across Ireland, United Kingdom, Europe, and international markets.
  1. To share:

  •     Exchange information with fellow ocean energy experts
  •     Share our experiences working with industry leaders in tidal and wave power generation.
  •     Showcase our team’s extensive experience using our validated time-domain software ProteusDS for mooring and installation analysis
  •     We are presenting three papers – check out our listing below
  1. To partner:

  •     Start conversation on big ideas and conversations
  •     Explore the potential of new and existing ocean energy projects.
  1. To have fun:

  •     We love Ireland!  
  •     Discover Cork, Ireland
  •     Visit Europe’s newest test tank, the state of the art, Lir National Ocean Test Facility


Paper presentation schedule:

Title : Dynamic Analysis Validation of the Floating ecoSpray Tidal Energy Test Platform

Date: Tuesday, August 29th

Time: 2- 3:20pm

Stream: Station-Keeping, Moorings & Foundations 1

Room: Kane Building, Room G19

Image of the ecoSpray Tidal energy platform images merged from real-life to simulation

The ecoSpray Tidal energy platform


Abstract: Floating tidal power generation platforms are developed due to their advantages in positioning turbines in strong surface flows, and their potentially more cost effective installation, operation, and maintenance. Developing a platform and mooring system capable of withstanding large turbine thrust loads and wave loads is needed. Numerical modeling of the system is critical to reliably dimension the components without over engineering and overspending. Validation of numerical models using full scale platform deployment data and accurate wave, current, and wind measurements is required to reduce risks. This process ensures sound engineering assumptions are employed, which leads to optimized structural design and reduced cost. With the goal of reducing risks associated with floating tidal platforms, the ecoSpray tidal energy test platform was deployed in Grand Passage, N.S., Canada in March 2016. The design process, construction, and deployment of the ecoSpray platform, moorings, and anchor blocks provide valuable experience for the industry. The development and validation of the floating platform numerical model in ProteusDS and the boundary element method (BEM) code ShipMo3D is reviewed. The results of the time-domain simulations are compared with data from the deployment.

Title: PLAT-O at FloWave: A validation of ProteusDS at modelling response of a taut-moored tidal platform at tank-testing scale

Date: Wednesday, August 30th

Time: 2- 3:20pm

Stream:  Tidal Device Development & Testing 9

Room: Geography Building, Lecture Theatre

Image of Sustainable Marine Energies PLAT-O at full scale with two 1st generation SITs

Two (first generation) SITs mounted on PLAT-O1


Abstract: The motion and mooring tensions of a scaled-down PLAT-O#2 physical model was measured in axial currents at FloWave, Edinburgh. At high flows, the platform ‘squats’ – arc motion along the upstream lines and about their anchors – to a stable lower depth. The compliance improves load share and survivability in extreme seas. To further investigate the squatting motion, the tested set-up is simulated ‘like-for-like’ in ProteusDS software. The modelled and measured trends, motion and line loads, are comparable. A significant lift force is identified with further work focused on estimating it at sea.

Title: IEA OES Task 10 WEC Modelling Verification and Validation

Date/time/location: To be determined

Abstract: This paper is the first joint reference paper for the OES Task 10 WEC modelling verification and validation group. The group is established under the Ocean Energy Systems (OES) Energy Technology Network program under International Energy Agency (IEA). OES was founded in 2001 and task 10 was proposed by Bob Thresher (NREL) in 2015 and approved by the OES Executive Committee EXCO in 2016. The kick-off workshop took place in September 2016 where the initial base line task was defined. Experience from similar offshore wind validation/verification projects (OC3-OC5 conducted within the International Energy Agency Wind Task 30) [1], [2] showed that a simple test case would help the initial cooperation in order to present results in a comparable way. A heaving sphere was chosen as the first test case. The group of project participants simulated different numerical experiments such as heave decay tests, regular and irregular wave cases. The simulation results submitted by the project participants are presented and discussed within this paper.

Ryan Nicoll Receives International Award For Moorings Work

Ryan Nicoll, Director of Engineering and co-founder of DSA, has received the 1906 Award from the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) for his tireless contributions towards the development of mooring standards for marine renewable energy applications.

Image of Ryan Nicoll's 1906-Award from the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC)

Ryan Nicoll receives 1906 Award from IEC


The IEC 1906 award was created in 2004 to commemorate the IEC’s year of foundation and to honour IEC subject matter experts. The award recognizes exceptional, and recent achievement by experts on a project or other specific contribution related to the activities of the IEC and which contributes in a significant way to advancing the work of the IEC.

The letter attached to the award reads;

Ryan Nicoll has been recognized for the significant leadership he provides to IEC TC 114 Marine Energy, as convenor of Adhoc Group 6 and as the Canadian Head of Delegation.

Furthermore, he contributes broadly to the efforts of TC 114.We would also like to take this opportunity to thank your organization for its commitment and support for Canadians participating in standardization activities, and in sustaining Canada’s national standards network.

Congratulations Ryan!


Top Reasons To Invest In ProteusDS Training

We work in technology-rich workplaces, where we need to keep skills current to ensure that the companies we work for stay competitive. Professional development has many benefits, and DSA wants to help you and your business to continue running effectively and efficiently.

Image of a keyboard with typing fingers


Whether you are a new ProteusDS user or a seasoned pro, regular professional development and software training can build skills within your company that will improve your bottom-line by ensuring you are using the most effective tools and processes.

We’ve compiled some of the top reasons to invest in ProteusDS training:

#1 Keep up with industry changes

Ocean engineering best practices are always evolving, to avoid being left behind it’s important for you and your business to keep on top of them. At DSA we work across many ocean sectors which give us a tremendous knowledge base to draw upon in training sessions. To the benefit of all attendees, standards and recommended practices for analyses are frequently discussed during training.

#2 Keep in touch with the latest features

New features within ProteusDS are developed all the time! Our team announces these advancements in all our major releases updates. In a training session, you can discover first-hand how these new features are used. In addition, not every feature is discussed in the tutorials or in release announcements. We often dive into these lesser known features in our training sessions.

#3 Keep one step ahead of the competition

Training helps users be more productive and efficient. Huge investments in tools without the appropriate training can signify inefficiencies that affect your company’s competitiveness. We find that users who invest in training find new and better ways to ProteusDS that save their businesses time and money.

#4 Keep connected with the software developers

Training with the software developers has three significant benefits. First, you are learning from the experts. Second, if you are encountering complex issues or have concerns with your simulations these issues are addressed quickly and efficiently.  Lastly, training sessions provide an invaluable opportunity for you to give feedback to DSA that can guide future developments that will make your ProteusDS usage more efficient and tailored to your specific needs.


Image of ProteusDS training in Singapore

A.J. Baron, Project Engineer with DSA leading ProteusDS training in Singapore, March 2017



Interested in learning more about ProteusDS training options? Want to book training today?

button to contact dynamic systems analysis



ProteusDS v2.36 is now available

DSA is very pleased to announce the release of ProteusDS v2.36. The software is ready to go and active subscribers can use their login credentials to download the latest version from our website. We’ve highlighted some of the key new features below.

Support for visualization-only models

A good computational model is very different than a 3D model used for purely visualization purposes. Because of this, we have added the ability to handle models that are to be used for visualization purposes only. Now, in the ProteusDS Simulation Toolbox, you can add a $VisualizationModel property to a RigidBody. The model specified through this property is not used for computations. We have added functionality in both PostPDS and ProteusDS Simulation Toolbox to toggle visualization or computational models on or off.

Image of Blended copmutational vs visualization labels

Comparing computational and visualization display modes in PostPDS

Bathymetry analysis

We have released a set of powerful bathymetry analysis features in PostPDS that allow users to assess seabed slope and depth. To access these features, simply right-click on the Seabed item in the Categories tree in the UI, and select the appropriate Bathymetry Plotting option. The depth and slope plots now have legends that make it easy to interpret seabed data. The exclusion zone plot allows you to find safe regions to place equipment or position anchors.

Image of powerful bathymetry analysis features in PostPDS

PostPDS showing the slopes in a bathymetry file using the bathymetry plotting options

Modeling ropes that are sewn into nets

For our aquaculture and net-modeling users, we have added support for modeling rib-lines or “structural lines” that are frequently sewn into nets to add strength and shape. This is done within the Net DObject itself and not using additional Cable DObjects. This dramatically reduces the numbers of DObjects and connections required to simulate a net pen with rib lines leading to faster simulations. To apply a rib-line to a net, use the $ExtCableLongitudinal or $ExtCableTransverse property in the Net input file.

We have also added an option to connect the end of a line to any point on a net. You do not have to connect a line directly to a node! This is much easier for creating supporting lines in net pens. To create this connection specify the Net as the master and the Cable as the follower, and use the Point connection type.

Image of structural lines that are swen into net panels

Visualization of structural lines (indicated in yellow) that are sewn into net panels.This feature reduced net analysis complexity significantly.

So, that’s ProteusDS 2.36 – we hope you enjoy it and find the new features useful.

v2.36 Change log


  • Added time history plot functionality for RigidBody DObject in PostPDS
  • Added legends for bathymetry plots in PostPDS
  • Added support for computational and visualization models in ProteusDS solver, PST, and PostPDS
  • Added height above seabed probe to RigidBody to check for clearance
  • Added inclination angle and tension output for ExtMass and ExtMassCylinder attachments
  • Added ability to connect the end of a cable to anywhere on a net panel
  • Added ExtCable functionality to Net DObject to allow for modeling of ropes which are sewn into nets to provide strength and shape


  • Enhanced ‘Duplicate Selected DObject(s)’ functionality to allow for optional duplication of connections

Resolved issues:

  • Addressed overlapping water rendering
  • Improved full-screen support with ability to toggle the display device that the full-screen window appears on by pressing ‘F1’
  • Addressed mooring line naming issue with taut leg mooring generator

View our 2015 change log here

DSA Announces Reseller Agreement with OceanPixel



Halifax, Nova Scotia – Dynamic Systems Analysis Ltd. (DSA) maker of ProteusDS dynamic analysis software is pleased to announce that it has signed an agreement with OceanPixel of Singapore and they will represent DSA and its software products in Southeast Asia.

DSA is an engineering services and software development company. ProteusDS is DSA’s flagship hydrodynamic and mechanical marine dynamic analysis software package. It is customizable, validated, efficient, and reduces the risk for its users by allowing them to assess how their technologies will respond to extreme wind, waves, and currents. ProteusDS is capable of enhancing in-house analysis, design, and system optimization capabilities for offshore, subsea, and marine organizations.

OceanPixel currently offers suitability analytics and other technical services for the marine renewables market, including engineering and environmental assessment. It is working on projects in Singapore, Indonesia, and the Philippines, and is pursuing projects all over Southeast Asia.

OceanPixel is proud to have Dynamic Systems Analysis Ltd as a partner in advancing the marine renewable energy industry in Asia.” said Michael Lochinvar Abundo, Managing Director at OceanPixel. “Through this partnership, we hope to deliver a range of great quality services to various sectors involved in the Marine and Offshore industry.”

The collaboration between the two companies will enable delivery of turnkey solutions to the marine renewables market in Southeast Asia. OceanPixel will provide sales, training, and consulting services for DSA’s products in the market.

We’re very excited about this partnership,” said Dean Steinke, Director of Operations at DSA. “Working within the marine renewables sector has always been a natural fit for us. The uniqueness of the marine renewable industry calls for constant innovation. It requires the provision of software and teams like OceanPixel’s that are extremely flexible and adaptable to the sector’s needs.  OceanPixel will expand our presence in the increasingly important Southeast Asia marine renewable market. It’s an ideal partnership.”


About OceanPixel

OceanPixel Pte Ltd (OP) is a Singapore start-up company spun off from the Energy Research Institute at Nanyang Technological University (ERI@N) incorporated in September 2014. The core team has combined expertise in Renewable Energy research, development, demonstration, project development and know-how and experience in the relevant industry ecosystems, business, finance, policy and education.

Offering technical services, data catalogues and report products, we have various global involvements and currently handles projects in Singapore, Indonesia, and the Philippines with potential projects in other parts of Asia under development.

Strategically partnering and collaborating with experts from the UK and, with access to marine renewable energy thought leaders in the South East Asia (SEA) region, OP has positioned itself to be the pioneer company dedicated to ocean renewable energy planning and development in SEA and beyond.

For more information about OceanPixel http://www.oceanpixel.org

Don’t let the ocean knock you down.

Subsurface mooring deployment, recovery, and performance in current and waves

For many years moorings have been designed using basic mass-drag-buoyancy calculations, spreadsheets, rules-of-thumb, black magic scripts, and a dose of ‘salty-sea-dog’ experience. With these methods, we can frequently estimate a line size to use or an approximate anchor weight. But sometimes despite our experience we still have questions. This article looks at increasing the precision of mooring analyses using numerical modeling software designed for ocean engineers.

Software for single point moorings has come a long way in recent years. Finite element-based cable analysis programs have been tested and developed by oceanographic institutions and ocean engineers for various purposes (towed bodies, ROVs, moorings, etc.). However, their use has been typically limited to a few advanced numerical modelling specialists who had both the expertise and patience to wade through the complex analysis process. In recent years, increasingly-refined software has been developed. This software has benefited from increased computational power and advances in 3D graphics. We can now get a much clearer picture as to what is happening with our moorings subsurface through simulation and visualization.

The video below demonstrates an analysis carried out using our ProteusDS software.

Analyzing buoy pitch and knockdown in current

The video shows four buoys of various styles (spherical, elliptical, and streamlined) being loaded by current. As the current ramps up to 3.6 knots, the knockdown and pitch of the buoys increase. There are two key forces at play – buoyancy and drag. The buoyancy provides a vertical restoring force that keeps the buoy from pitching. Conversely, hydrodynamic drag pitches the buoys about their mooring connection point.

A pitch of greater than 20 degrees is not recommended for ADCPs, as the inclinometers which allow for compensation of buoy pitch typically only have a range of 20 degrees. Mooring designers would try to limit ADCP buoy pitch to only a few degrees if possible. In addition to uplift and drag, buoy pitch also depends on the length of the mooring and weight of mooring equipment (chain, shackles, line, etc.).

The example shows that increased buoyancy is effective in preventing knockdown and limiting pitch, as the AF49-750 buoy has the lowest pitch and knockdown of the elliptical and spherical buoys. However, this buoy still pitches significantly at the higher currents, whereas the streamlined StableMoor® buoy, with its reduced drag and configurable connection point, is effective at maintaining low pitch and knockdown.

The ProteusDS model uses 6 degrees of freedom for the buoys (heave, sway, surge, roll, pitch, and yaw). Although this case is essentially 2D, the solver solves for the position in 3D. The effect of the attachment point and location of drag loading affect the pitch calculated by the software.


The ProteusDS software pre-processor is shown. This software allows users to add mooring elements such as shackles and swivels from a central library. Line types such as Amsteel Blue or wire rope can likewise be selected.

Transient loading and acoustic release damage during mooring deployment

One aspect not often considered by mooring designers is what happens during deployment. As shown in the video, the simulation allows for prediction of launch transients, which ensures that shackles and lines are properly selected to handle the deployment loads.

We’ve observed that acoustic releases get damaged during deployment when they are placed too close to the anchor. ProteusDS can be used to check that the acoustic release’s downward momentum will not cause it to crash into the seabed or anchor.


Mooring deployment analysis showing launch transient loading.


Mooring recovery

A few questions I’m asked from time to time are: How long will it take for the mooring to come to the surface? and, How far might the mooring drift as it comes to the surface? The mooring recovery section of the video shows how you can assess this.

In the case considered, the AF36-750 mooring rises at about 2.7 meters per second. If this mooring was deployed at 750 meters, it would take between 4 and 5 minutes to surface!

Although no current was applied in the example, current can be applied in the simulation to determine how far it might drift in the time it takes to get to the surface.


ProteusDS post-processing software showing rendered view of the mooring systems being tested.

Interaction of waves with subsurface moorings

Much like current, waves can cause an ADCP mooring to pitch and move. The example in the video shows the impact of the subsurface orbital wave motion on the mooring line and buoy. A JONSWAP wave spectrum is simulated to check how much the buoy will pitch. Clearly, in this case, a bottom mounted ADCP frame would be preferred – but we don’t always have the equipment we need on hand. It’s good to have tools to check the impact of waves on our moorings.

DSA has carried out a series of simulations in consultation with DeepWater Buoyancy using our ProteusDS software. The software is designed to help mooring designers and builders to answer practical questions about mooring performance. Most would agree that the software’s 3D visualization capabilities shown in the video are really cool, but I believe that the real value of the software is that we don’t have to speculate what is happening subsea. We can now get a clear picture.

Curious to learn more about using dynamic analysis software to assess mooring deployment, recovery, and performance in current and waves?

About DeepWater Buoyancy, Inc.

DeepWater Buoyancy creates subsea buoyancy products for leading companies in the oceanographic, seismic, survey, military and offshore oil & gas markets. Customers have relied on our products for over thirty years, from the ocean surface to depths exceeding six thousand meters.

Contact DeepWater Buoyancy at www.DeepWaterBuoyancy.com