The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC), is the first and only centre of its kind in the world to provide developers of both wave and tidal energy converters with purpose-built, accredited open-sea demonstration facilities.
With 14 grid-connected test berths, there have been more marine energy converters deployed at EMEC than at any other single site in the world, with developers attracted from around the globe to prove what is achievable in some of the harshest marine environments. EMEC is also at the forefront in the development of international standards for marine energy, and is forging alliances with other countries, exporting its knowledge around the world to stimulate the development of a global marine renewables industry. EMEC has first-hand experience in how issues with materials can cause significant challenges for technology developers. This project will support the development of solutions for marine energy converters, subsystems and connectors that are costs effective, reliable and can survive the demanding requirements the environment places on technology.
Orkney Islands, UK
GOALS AND CHALLENGES
To date, most wave and tidal energy converters demonstrated at EMEC have been painted steel structures, or reinforced concrete, with some sub-structures in polymer composites. Trials of various coating technologies have been carried out across the broader marine energy sector with some concrete, composite and plastic structures being developed, however these opportunities have not been explored in full despite being employed
extensively in other industries. There are also very few marine energy technologies that have been deployed long term where issues around corrosion become much more significant.
Key focus areas for EMEC will be floating technologies (wave and tidal) which operate in a highly exposed, oxygenated environments with limited access for O&M. EMEC will work with our technology developers (which includes Wello, CorPower, Laminaria, Scotrenewables, Magallanes, Tocardo and Nautricity) to outline a detailed set of emerging challenges to be resolved during the project. This is likely to include the costs of materials, fatigue performance, buoyancy, wear of sub-systems, effects of bio-fouling, device mass and manufacturing of complex shapes. In addition to this EMECs offshore infrastructure has been in place since 2003 which includes cardinal buoys, subsea cables, data monitoring systems, connectors, foundations etc. Challenges facing this infrastructure through corrosion are also sought. As the wave and tidal energy sector is emerging a key outcome will be the identification of supply chain solutions that have been employed in other industries or are emerging from the supply chain that have the capability to benefit the marine energy sector.