Enabling tools for the development of marine renewable energy: A case study of wave energy converter ocean trials; and, A novel sensor to measure energetic marine currents
Item statusRestricted Access
Embargo end date16/12/2021
Marine renewable energies, including wave and tidal are considered part of the solution to decarbonise electricity generation and contribute to meeting widely agreed Greenhouse Gas emission reduction targets. Differences in the development phase of each sector result in the existence of different barriers that hinder this contribution. This thesis adopts a portfolio approach, initially addressing a challenge facing the wave energy sector, the lack of experience in the operation and maintenance of wave energy converters. Part two of the portfolio addresses the challenge facing the tidal stream energy sector of flow measurement in complex flow environments, an accurate assessment of which enhances evaluation of forces and loads exerted on tidal devices, predictions of resource availability and operations and maintenance planning. In collaboration with the wave energy developer CorPower Ocean Ltd during ocean testing of a half scale wave energy converter, this thesis portfolio commences with the critical evaluation of prototype operations and maintenance activity relating to an operations and maintenance model, a failure modes effects analysis and half-scale wave energy converter ocean testing. The evaluation improves tools available for risk reduction, cost modelling and operations and maintenance planning at prototype testing stage, facilitating device development and deployment by CorPower Ocean and developers across the sector. In collaboration with the European Horizon 2020 RealTide project, the second part of the portfolio presents the development of modular and high-resolution acoustic measurement technology for use in high energy marine environments. A hardware/software test bed is deployed in the FloWave Ocean Energy Research Facility, testing and proving subsystems of the high resolution sensor, the convergent acoustic Doppler profiler (C-ADP). A collaboration with PNNL, a Department of Energy funded laboratory in the USA, designed, constructed, commissioned and ocean tested a C-ADP, novelly with an actuated measurement location. This work generates key outputs to de-risk activity underway on the RealTide project and contributes to the phased development of acoustic measurement technology to reduce uncertainty in flow measurement and characterisation for the tidal energy sector. Resultant reliability improvements and cost reductions are critical elements in ensuring tidal energy's contribution to our future energy mix.
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