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27 March 2010

Marine Test & Research Facilities Open up the Deep

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Getting a novel ocean energy concept from the drawing board into commercial production is a long, costly and arduous process that an extensive series of testing and demonstration phases

As any engineer will tell you, developing the engineering concepts for a novel energy production device is an iterative process. For ocean energy, this process is further complicated as any device destined to generate electricity from the marine environment must be sufficiently robust to survive the extremely harsh conditions, all the while maintaining complex operations at sea.

Testing, measurement and understanding hydrodynamic interaction between the device and its environment can deliver on a number of key goals, chiefly: cost reduction through the better use of materials, improved control schemes, and lower cost next generation devices.

The design must also include consideration of, for example, the nature of the installation techniques required for the proposed machine and other issues such as scouring, electrical systems and operations and maintenance. Indeed, the challenges of wave energy are very similar to those of the wider offshore industry, requiring safe and economic design, production, transportation, installation, maintenance, repair and removal.

(Renewabel Energy World)

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