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Our centre provides win-win for knowledge and innovation

- It is essential to test the equipment we develop with oil on water. After testing in Norway, we came a step further in our development process.

This says Technical Director Koos Tamminga and CEO Bert Smit Sibinga of FORU-Solution. Their team spent a week for product testing in Norway this summer.

Their development team in FORU-Solution tested this summer a new type of skimmer at the National Center for testing of oil spill response equipment in Norway. 

For FORU-Solution was it important to test their equipment in realistic conditions, such as oil on water.  This test was the first commercial test at the National Center for testing of oil spill response equipment following a two-year upgrade earlier this year.

The feedback after FORU-Solutions stay in Horten, indicate that this will not be the last time the company comes Norway to test new oil spill response equipment as part of a development process.

The contact between the company and the National Center for testing of oil spill response equipment dates back to 2000.

When Smit Sibinga contacted NCA in 2015, he found an upgraded test center with more opportunities and better facilities than earlier.

Made full use of the test time

– Before we arrived Horten with our equipment, we had a meeting with several employees, who are responsible for the operation of the center. They showed us around and we discussed the test opportunities we had in Norway, says Tamminga.

They have no doubt about how the team from FORU-Solution made full use of the time in Norway, by effective testing from day one.

– We got access to everything we needed to conduct tests of the equipment we develop, from personnel to technical material and safety equipment, Smit Sibinga.

Previously FORU-Solution had to ship equipment and conduct tests in the United States. At times they also have contact with a test center in France. Now both leaders see that there is time and resources to save on adding tests to Norway.

Win-win for both parts

– One of the objectives of the test center is to contribute to the innovation processes for private companies that develop oil spill response equipment, says Steinar Lodve Gyltnes, who is Head of Section for Logistics and Technology at the Emergency Response Centre in NCA.

He adds that an active and good use of the test hall at the center could provide win-win situations for private oil spill manufacturers and NCA, and that this is one of the objectives of the center.

– We in the NCA will use our practical oil spill response expertise, to aid in the manufacturers development of their oil spill response products, says Gyltnes.

Helped us further

– The test definitely helped us on in the development process. We identified challenges, and experienced that the capacity with you in Norway is not a problem in order to test our equipment. Our challenge was to get the right ratio between oil and water. We tried out several things, which control the power pack, discharge, buffering and floating capabilities, says Tamminga.

The team from the Dutch company returned to the Netherlands with knowledge of the changes that are necessary to succeed with their new product.

– We are confident that we will succeed, because we saw that we are on the right track. We have agreed to come back to Horten in November 2015 to further test. Hopefully after that, the product will be ready to be used by real oil spill, says Smit Sibinga.

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Technical data from the National Centre for Testing of oil spill response equipment:

Length ................................................................................................30 m
Width....................................................................................................7 m
Depth (total).....................................................................................4.4 m*
Depth above double bottom (max)....................................................2.4 m
Practical depth above double bottom.................................approx. 1.7 m
Water volume.....................................................................approx. 800 m³
Water current speed (max)..........................................approx. 3- 4 knots
Wave height (max)...............................................................approx. 0.6 m

Test of skimmers
Full-size skimmers can be tested in the basin under
controllable sea conditions. Different parameters can be
varied and measured constantly during testing.

Variants
• Oil viscosity
• Oil emulsion
• Oil quantity
• Waves
• Current

Measurement results
• Volume removed (oil and water)
• Quantity of oil removed
• Quantity of water in the oil emulsion
• Removal capacity (m3 per hour)
• Characteristics of sea and current

Facts

National Centre for Testing of oil spill response equipment offers Norwegian and foreign equipment suppliers, research institutions and other parties involved in preparedness against acute pollution the opportunity to test equipment or train their operators.

Private or public sector buyers may also use the centre to evaluate materials prior to procurement.

This is what we offer:
• Indoor salt-water basin where equipment can be tested in realistic conditions, as waves and current can be applied to the basin.
• The basin allows the full-scale testing of the capacity and stability of skimmers.
• Possibilities for testing oil booms with respect to flexibility, stability and ability to retain oil in varying sea conditions and current speeds.
• Laboratory for measuring water content, viscosity and density of oil.
• Central location in Horten in Vestfold, around 100 km south of Oslo.
• The centre is also in the immediate vicinity of the Oslofjord.
Contact us for more information: testhall@kystverket.no.

About the FORU-Solution's equipment:

The FORU (Floating Oil Recovery Unit) is an oil recovery device, based on the latest technical developments. It is not a skimmer but an adjustable down-draught system that performs skimming activities. It’s shape makes it become one with the waves, ready to function under rough offshore circumstances.

In short, the FORU is a unique device, highly flexible, capable of recovering massive quantities of oil in record time, even under adverse weather conditions. Operated by only two persons it is capable of working continuously without any maintenance for longer periods of time. The FORU technology has been patented in July 2013.

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