Business cases developed and finance options considered to deliver the demonstration projects
The NeSSIE project brought together Offshore Renewable Energy project developers with the anti-corrosion community, to build investment cases to demonstrate the deployment in real-life situations of advanced materials technology that addresses major corrosion challenges in tidal, offshore wind, wave and test centre infrastructure.
The selected anti-corrosion solutions will be applied to the assets and tested in real life conditions, concentrating on 3 principal kinds of corrosion protection:
- Cathodic protection measures
- New coating systems
- Design improvements to reduce corrosion
3 Project Developers were selected by a competitive call process, offering existing assets for demonstration. The Project Developers all provided a brief and the specialist corrosion community (from various sectors) were invited to express interest, outlining their capabilities.
Business-to-Business sessions were held at a conference in January 2019, where the Developers met with 18 potential solution providers. Since then, more detailed discussion has been ongoing with approximately 13 selected companies to explore how solutions may be applied to each Developers’ assets. A business (or investment) case has been developed for each of the 3 Developers outlining the parameters for demonstrators.
Simec Atlantis Energy
- Turbines require to be serviced, therefore flanged joints need to be opened for access – this makes it more difficult to maintain anti-corrosion protection integrity than in other subsea/marine applications.
- High tidal flow (where tidal turbines are deployed) which increases oxidation, which accelerates corrosion. Stainless steel components act as anodes, further compounding the corrosion issue.
- Disbondment of composite from metal components
The most detailed discussions to date have been around corrosion/cathodic protection expertise exploring proprietary software tools, high quality engineering services and fundamental electrochemical expertise which enhance solution providers’ CP design capabilities and field data interpretation.
Offshore wind corrosion challenges are from repetitive wear, particularly: boat landing fenders (where tidal range is 3-4 metres); regular hook-on fall arrest points and major component interfaces (gearbox, main bearing, generator) which cannot be routinely inspected. All are subject to high salinity.
Detailed discussions are ongoing.
European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC)
The challenges at EMEC include those from individual wave device developers and to EMEC’s infrastructure itself.
Individual device developers have cited issues with: material and protection selection; fastener coatings; steel wire rope corrosion; contact between friction bearings and the steel housing, galvanic corrosion; crevice corrosion on a stainless-steel plate; bolt coatings; fouling to assess corrosion.
EMEC are working with some of the world’s leading device developers to improve the material components of their technology which will support a range of SMEs and larger companies to take their products to market. The supply chain organisations identified in the NeSSIE project may be able to test solutions as part of this activity.
Overall feedback from developers:
Average project duration is 36 months to allow for effective monitoring and assessment of the effectiveness of the chosen anti-corrosion technologies.
The 3 PDs are exploring routes to funding demonstrators: ranging from tendering/procurement to sources of public support such as EMFF/Horizon 2020 collaborative project funding.