Scotland’s wave power quango has released the findings from its research project with the Orkney-based European Marine Energy Centre.
The project seeks to capture the wealth of knowledge and experience amassed in the Orkney supply chain from testing wave energy devices in real sea conditions.
Results from the project will help wave energy converter developers check their readiness for deploying in real sea conditions by taking open-water testing into consideration at an early stage in their design process.
Nine supply-chain companies (Aquatera, Bryan J Rendall Electrical, EMEC, Green Marine, Leask Marine, Orcades Marine, Scotmarine, Sula Diving and Xodus Group) with over 500,000 hours of marine renewables operations experience between them, participated in a series of workshops to gather their collective knowledge, and generate the guidance documents as a reference point for developers.
The reports were reviewed by Offshore Subsea Consultancy Services to ensure operational accuracy.
The importance of budgeting for regulatory issues, the need for appropriate lifting points on a device, and the ability to reduce forecasting uncertainties through a process of refining and improving marine operations are just some examples of the arising lessons-learnt.
Five reports comprise the suite of documents produced. An overview report introduces the project approach, the participants, and summarises the findings, with a further four detailed guidance documents focusing upon the topics of Compliance, Handling, Installation and Operations and Maintenance (O&M) respectively.
These documents draw on the expertise and learning gained through frontline experience within Orkney’s well-established marine renewables supply chain.
Elaine Buck, EMEC Technical Manager, said: “To date, EMEC test sites have played host to 19 developers and more than 100 wider research projects. Orkney’s supply chain companies have been instrumental in those activities, and we have drawn upon all that experience in this project.
“The input we’ve gathered is unprejudiced in drawing together both the positive and negative lessons learnt, and covers a depth of expertise captured within each of the participating companies.
“By cataloguing some of this learning we hope the next developers on-site can de-risk and accelerate their plans, as well as achieve cost reduction, armed with guidance based on hard-won experience.”
“Information of this kind will be invaluable to wave energy developers.”