iO Technologies - Mobile Marine Barrier Systems

Providing protection by reducing storm surge inundation

The iO Technologies team has spent five years working with the world's leading research institutions to provide a range of protection from extreme weather events. iO's solutions are designed to work with, rather than against, nature's energy to reduce the destructive forces found within weather events.

iO's 'Mobile Marine Barrier Systems' are designed to engage with storm surge and the majority of tsunami to protect coastal cities and towns and key coastal infrastructure from storms, hurricanes and typhoons. iO's barriers are mobile and temporary fixtures so they can be positioned exactly where they are needed and are also environmentally safe; they use the latest warning systems and so are able to save lives, and protect buildings and key infrastructure in a way that is currently not possible using fixed barriers – at a much lower cost.

The company currently has two types of mobile marine barrier systems: a stand-alone vessel, "Pebble", to provide focussed, local protection for critical coastal infrastructure within commercial rivers (such as ports, harbours or marinas and power-stations); and a larger system, "Cradle", which will provide a wide area of calm water to assist with the protection of major population centres by reducing the physical impact of storm surge.

CFD simulation of iO's barriers has shown consistent reduction of water velocity and wave height when tested in simulated category four hurricane conditions (equal to wind-speeds of over 130 miles per hour and with raised sea-levels of up to 18 feet) and to be capable of reducing storm surge impact by as much as 40-60%.

"Pebble: A Mobile Marine Barrier System" specifically designed to protect critical infrastructure against storm surge inundation.

"Pebble" (Mark 1) is ideally suited for EU and UK regional inland waters where operational conditions are expected not to exceed equal to CAT 2 strength sea-state storms.

"Pebble" (Mark 2) is designed to operate in the sea-states and types of condition of category four storms such as are found in US and Japanese waters.

Both "Pebbles" are robust and capable of producing the levels of power necessary to meet the impact of storm-force waves and to meet the buoyancy challenges that they may be subjected to. Operating within a configuration of three vessels, "Pebble" creates large areas of calm water in its lee of <1 km in distance providing accurate localized protection within a storm condition for a wide range of coastal or river based infrastructures.

"Cradle: A Mobile Marine Barrier System" specifically designed to protect coastal regions and provide weather-window harbours within storm surge conditions.

"Cradle" is a unique mobile-modular system made up of three powered control vessels with two interlinking pontoons. Once deployed "Cradle" serves as a semi-permanent but versatile structure, ideal for commercial estuaries with shipping traffic and active built environment complexities.

Further information can be found at:

iO Technologies - Coastal Structural Energy Systems

iO Technologies is working on related projects in the "Deep Ocean" to address some of the underlying scientific influences that provide conditions for extreme weather events, and "Coastal Structural Energy Systems" by developing a range of innovative patented structures for industries located in areas most exposed to flooding and storm inundation.

"Sky Village"

iO Technologies' "Sky Village" was inspired by Japan's late architect Kisho Kurokawa who in 1989 devised the open plan living 'Sky City 1000'. By dramatically extending his visionary concept, iO Technologies enables the structure to "come alive" by producing energy within a sustainable low-carbon environment employing innovative patented technology.

The "Sky Village" range of structures is designed to address the economic and human challenge for industries and those whom are living within coastal areas at threat from the extremes of weather.

"Sky Village" has many benefits, particularly for:

Agriculture: By providing protection for crops or raw commodities within an innovative micro-climate environment shielded against coastal inundation, drought or dust storm conditions against losses of crop yield from excessive precipitation with evolving climatic conditions.

Construction sector solutions, by advancing use of offsite assembly and retrofit applications by extending expected life cycle with existing infrastructure assets.

Advancing Building Information Modelling techniques to incorporate environmental Geo-Spatial Data solutions across regions with high reconstruction cost values to address expenditure efficiency with use of resources whilst facing economic and relocation challenges due to sea-level rise or climatic shifts.

Energy sector solutions, by providing an innovative method of integrating energy capture, consumption and distribution efficiency within the built environment by advancing resilient readiness.

Natural environment, by lowering overall carbon thermos signature to encouraging our natural habitat to merge within our living space by improving localized micro climates.

Marine Port and Transport sectors: enabling innovative resilient transport solutions to merge within the existing built environment.

Further information can be found at:

Image of the proposed Pebble mobile marine barrier system Image of the proposed Cradle mobile marine barrier system Image of the proposed Sky Village dwelling from the side Image of the proposed Sky Village dwelling from above.

"Blue Shark" The Blue Shark device is acting naturally like a shark swimming in the water. The horizontal axis marine turbine Blue Shark, is a hydro kinetic turbine designed to produce clean energy exploiting slow-moving flows of water, such as large river, tidal or water currents.

The patented turbine has been developed since 2002 following much research and development made in collaboration with several European Universities, Scientists and Technological Centres. The machine is able to harvest energy with rated power of 250 kW – 1000 kW according to the speed of the water current on a chosen site.

The machine is located between the surface and the ocean floor at the desired depth (from 20 m to 60 m), aligning itself to the current independently from its direction.

Blue Shark is a tidal-ocean current energy conversion system using two horizontal axis hydro turbines mounted on the side of a supporting submersed structure. The system is supported by the buoyant structure of the device and is tethered to the seabed with a mooring rope. Two asynchronous generators are installed on board and mounted on the turbines shafts through a gearbox. Each generator is electrically controlled by inverters, both for grid connection purposes and in order to reach optimal working conditions at different current speed.

The power connection is provided through a power cable, passing along the mooring rope and extended to the shore grid connection point. The three bladed turbines have been developed and designed in order to reach a high efficiency in a relatively large range of operating conditions, using a properly designed airfoil section shape. A diffuser is placed around each turbine and allows an enhancement of the energy conversion process, increasing the mass flowing though the turbine.

The system's self-orientation is particularly useful in reversing currents, such as a tidal cycle. During operations, the effective working depth and system direction vary with current stream speed and direction as a consequence of the balance among the thrust acting on the turbines, the hydrodynamic drag forces and the buoyancy force acting on the system.