Wave Energy Scotland (WES) has initiated a new project with the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) to capture the wealth of knowledge and experience amassed in Orkney through testing wave energy devices in real sea conditions.
Results from the study will support and inform the wave energy convertor (WEC) designs currently under development.
Taking the requirements of open-water testing into consideration at an early stage of the design process will ultimately improve WEC readiness for deployment in real sea conditions.
A set of guidance documents will be produced which focus on real-sea experience in compliance, handling, installation and operations and maintenance (O&M) of devices, drawing on the expertise and knowledge within Orkney’s well-established marine renewables supply chain.
The findings will also make it easier and quicker for developers to identify the services available to support their projects.
“Information of this kind will be invaluable to developers at the early stages of wave energy converter design and development,” explains Tim Hurst, Managing Director, Wave Energy Scotland. “With over ten years’ experience of testing wave energy converters and other marine energy technologies, EMEC and their partners have learned valuable lessons in deployments, offshore operations, HSE and logistics.
“This study will help our programme participants to make informed decisions at earlier stages of their device development. Ultimately, the results should help avoid costly errors at the deployment stage.”
Elaine Buck, EMEC’s Technical Manager, adds: “To date, more marine energy converters have been deployed in Orkney than at any other site in the world. Our supply chain therefore has unprecedented experience in supporting installations and operations at sea.
“This remarkable activity has allowed them to develop best practice for a diverse range of scenarios. Many local companies are now exporting their skills and knowledge across the globe based on this experience and success.
“What we’d like to do is capture some of this learning to make it easier for the wave energy companies coming to EMEC in the future.”