The objective of the meeting was to share the results from work that the Marine Energy Research and Innovation Center (MERIC) carried out in the Strait of Magellan and the Fitz Roy Channel.

The Marine Energy Research and Innovation Center (MERIC) conducted, during mid-May, a Symposium entitled “Modeling and field studies related to marine energy in Magallanes region” which took place at the University of Magallanes (UMAG). The objective of this activity was to exchange experiences with students and researchers. The workshop was led by Leandro Suarez and Felipe Lucero, experts from the “Resource assessment and site characterization” project. During the meeting, they shared the results of recently conducted studies to determine the potential of marine energy extraction in extreme zone of Chile.

“We require specific studies to determine which sites have the potential to install a device to extract marine energy. This necessity arises because existing technologies must be adapted to the characteristics of each site. For this reason, we hope that our research based on field campaigns and numerical modeling, will help us to better understand the resources located in the Strait of Magellan and the Fitz Roy Channel. This was what we wanted to share with students and researchers from UMAG” Said Leandro Suarez.

Marine Energy has a great potential to complement other renewable energy sources. In Chile, specifically in the Magallanes region, this potential is even greater because of the magnitude of the tidal currents. Based on this, MERIC executed two successful field surveys during March and May 2019, in the Magallanes Region. Current measurements, temperature and salinity, were some of the various studies conducted to understand the coastal zone processes.

Asked about the symposium and the collaboration generated between MERIC and UMAG, The Director of the Center of Energy Resources at the University of Magallanes (CERE-UMAG) Humberto Vidal said “When we signed the cooperation agreement with MERIC these activities were one of the objectives. Their intention was to present to academics and students from UMAG what are the study areas of marine energy in which an effective collaboration with MERIC can occur”.

Furthermore, Humberto Vidal added: “We were anxious to know the preliminary results of the measurement campaigns carried out by MERIC in the region, and to learn of the progress of the hydrodynamic model developed for the Strait of Magellan. This will undoubtedly be of great importance for the future selection of suitable sites to install technologies for the extraction of marine energy “.

An expected consequence of this symposium is to encourage students to choose their theses on subjects related to marine energy in Magallanes, and/or to integrate the MERIC research that will be carried in the region. To date, both students and researchers at the Institute of Patagonia, the Department of Mechanical Engineering and CERE University of Magallanes, have had a valuable participation in MERIC activities, an aspect that both institutions expect that will increase in the coming years.