The key objective of the TROPOS project is the development of a floating modular multi-use platform system for use in deep waters, with an initial geographic focus on the Mediterranean, Tropical and Sub-Tropical regions but designed to be flexible enough not to be limited in geographic scope.
The TROPOS approach is centred on the modular development where different types of modules can be combined as appropriate in each area. In this way, the TROPOS multi-use platform system is able to integrate a range of functions from the transport, energy, aquaculture and leisure sectors, in a greater number of geographical areas than if it was a set platform design. This subsequently provides greater opportunities for profitability.
The TROPOS design will focus on a floating multi-purpose structure able to operate in, and exploit, deep waters, where fixed structures such as those piled in the seabed are not feasible. The multi-use platforms developed from the concept designs will have the potential to provide European coastal regions with appropriate aquaculture systems, innovative transport services as well as leisure and offshore energy solutions.
The main actions of the project are:
- To determine, based on both numerical and physical modelling, the optimal locations for multi-use offshore platforms in Mediterranean, sub-tropical and tropical latitudes
- To research the relations between oceanic activities, including wind energy, aquaculture, transport solutions for shipping, and other additional services
- To develop novel, cost-efficient and modular multi-use platform designs, that enable optimal coupling of the various services and activities
- To study the logistical requirements of the novel multi-use platform
- To assess the economic feasibility and viability of the platform
- To develop a comprehensive environmental impact methodology and assessment
- To configure at least three complete solutions, for the Mediterranean, Sub-tropical and tropical areas
Sustainable uses for offshore platforms
Europe's coastal areas are becoming more crowded, and space for developing marine renewable energy and other environment friendly technologies is limited. Floating offshore platforms capable of supporting a range of sustainable activities may provide an answer.
The aim of the http://www.troposplatform.eu (TROPOS) project is to design and develop a floating MUlti-purpose Platform (MUP) that can operate in deep waters where fixed structures are not feasible. The platform will be composed of a central unit and different modules for aquaculture, maritime transport, renewable energy and leisure, which will enable exploitation of the ocean's resources in a sustainable and environment-friendly way.
TROPOS and its sister projects: H2OCEAN and MERMAID, are part of the 'Ocean of tomorrow' cross-thematic initiative whose objective is to develop new ideas for sustainable development of the marine environment. Therefore, TROPOS is developing MUPs capable of sharing sites, infrastructures and reduced costs, while minimising negative environmental impacts.
Project partners will identify MUP locations that possess marine renewable energy sources and are suitable for aquaculture, leisure and maritime transport support services. The consortium will also develop innovative designs for platforms that will enable them to be spaced close together.
Offshore aquaculture operations will be developed using the new fish culture module. The platform will also offer an offshore port and a logistics base for maritime transport and renewable energy in the form of wind, wave and photovoltaic technology that can also be integrated into MUPs. The platforms will also support leisure activities such as fishing, sailing and scuba diving.
To date, TROPOS has designed a platform central unit that can be used for three different models of platforms in three different locations: Canary Islands, Crete (Greece) and Taiwan. Environmental impact assessments, life-cycle assessments and socioeconomic aspects studies were carried out right from the start of the design process to ensure sustainability.
Marine platforms developed by the TROPOS consortium promise an exciting, innovative and environment-friendly solution for harnessing solar and offshore renewable energy and other resources from the marine environment.