New wave of EU tidal energy turbine tests launched at Orkney research centre

An EMEC test site in the Orkneys
An EMEC test site in the Orkneys

The second phase of an international collaborative research project designed to improve the reliability of wave and tidal energy convertors has been launched in the Orkneys.

By reducing risks and enhancing reliability, the project at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) aims to encourage increased investment in the marine energy industry by both the public and private sector.

The project aims to help turbine developers to validate their findings and establish a practical, condition-based monitoring platform to prepare for future arrays, where big data handling and processing will be vital to drive down operational expenditure.

Marine energy devices operate in harsh environments but still need to perform reliably and produce an expected amount of energy, which gives rise to huge engineering challenges.

Funded through the OceanERANET initiative and led by the Research Institute of Sweden, it brings a clutch of wave and tidal energy developers together at (EMEC).

Elaine Buck, EMEC Technical Manager, explained: “Reliability testing is tough to do in the sea so this project is about establishing a methodology and testing programme so we can gather data between device installation through to MTTF (mean time to failure).

“The instrumentation, condition monitoring methodology applied with Variation Mode and Effect Analysis (VMEA) methodology used in other more mature sectors such as the automotive and aerospace industry will be adapted in the RiaSoR project for the ocean energy sector and will provide valuable insight into prototype design development.”

26 Mar 2018

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