Seminar at OEE2017 Conference: Wave Power Take Off - Have we cracked it?
- 25 October 2017
14.10pm (Brussels, Madrid, Berlin, Rome)
13.10pm (London, Dublin, Lisbon)
Chair: Henry Jeffrey, University of Edinburgh (introduction slides)
Speakers: Patrik Moller, CorPower Ocean (presentation)
Luca Castellini, Umbra Cuscinetti (presentation)
Richard Linley, Aquanet Power (presentation)
Kieran O'Brien, Carnegie Clean Energy (presentation)
Alexander Martha, Nemos (presentation)
A deep dive into the technical aspects of PTOs. What progress has been made in the last 5 years? Which different concepts are available and how do they compare? Do we need to invest together to further one or two universal PTO solutions? A potentially contentious look at the key component of any ocean energy device.
View the video recording and the presentation slides (links above).
Findings of discussion
- Technology standards and verification are important to develop new technologies. However, their application can stifle early stage innovation. Presenters at the workshop consider quality control important. This should be incorporated into management processes and project timing. The outcomes of standards applications is key to long term investor confidence.
- A range of high standards for ocean energy technology are already available. Moreover, standards used in the offshore wind industry already being used where pertinent.
- If used internationally by all technology developers, investor technology appreciation and cross-comparison would be facilitated. In Carnegie’s experience, however, the application of new technologies to recognised standards does not guarantee that technology is totally compliant. Internal testing on technologies brought into the company from elsewhere should still be carried out.
- A common approach to device testing among developers would allow the development of common infrastructure and specialists facilities for PTO testing at different scales. However, it should be highlighted that different technical PTO designs make it difficult to compare devices without the development and approval of a common metric. Potentially linear PTO’s type test rigs could be standardised to avoid developers spending a large amount of their budgets on bespoke test rigs. It was noted, however, that facilities and industry consensus are currently lacking for a common PTO testing approach.
- The Dutch Energy Institute recently conducted an industry workshop on standards and certifications in ocean energy. A common conclusion is that all countries would benefit from a standard system of main device certifications. To create this device, developers need to be more forthcoming with potentially sensitive testing data to construct and feed such a system.
- A delicate balance exists among technology developers to knowledge sharing and maintaining competitive technology advantages. Hence the release of Intellectual Property (IP) to guide the design of standards is problematic.
- There are opportunities to take technologies from other sectors. It is necessary to identify “translational” technologies, which is not necessarily straight-forward. Knowledge transfer from the offshore wind industry is being explored, particularly regarding use of standards and electrical infrastructure. Other examples include hydraulic motors and offshore tethers from the oil and gas industry.