EMEC reliability tests for tidal projects

4C Offshore | Tom Russell
By: 22/02/2016 EMEC
Three European research and testing sites have embarked on the development of a methodology to improve reliability in marine energy converters. Funded through the OCEANERA-NET initiative, the Reliability in a Sea of Risk (RiaSoR) project aims to establish industry best practice in reliability testing for wave and tidal energy devices.

Scotland’s European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) is working with the UK’s Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult and SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden to improve reliability testing, with the aim of building robustness into marine energy technology design and performance.

“Every technology that has been deployed in the extreme wave and tidal conditions at EMEC’s test sites has encountered challenges with reliability and survivability,”
explains Elaine Buck, EMEC’s Technical Business Development Manager. "For a test site to provide a comprehensive testing service, we need to understand the potential failures as early as possible to reduce the risk, cost and time for the developer. At EMEC we’re always looking to expand our testing capabilities, and the development of this reliability test programme will be of great benefit to the marine energy developers who utilise our test sites.”

EMEC stated that the industry-approved reliability testing practices developed by RiaSoR will be applied to other ocean energy testing sites to ensure consistency and robustness by which reliability is demonstrated across all wave and tidal technologies.

The overall technical approach will be driven by SP Research Institute, bringing its experience of reliability from the automotive industry.

"We want to develop a culture of reliability testing within the ocean energy sector”,
explains Pierre Ingmarsson, with SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden. “Therefore we will develop a programme for transferring skills in reliability analysis to marine energy developers through the testing houses. This will ensure that the practical methodologies developed in this project are taken up by industry and make a lasting impact.”