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Technology Advancement of Ocean energy devices through Innovative Development of Electrical systems to increase performance and reliability

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - TAOIDE (Technology Advancement of Ocean energy devices through Innovative Development of Electrical systems to increase performance and reliability)

Okres sprawozdawczy: 2018-05-01 do 2021-01-31

Traditional electrical generators, if used in a submerged condition, are liable to catastrophic failure if water ingresses the air gap between the rotor and stator of the generator.

The TAOIDE project aims to develop a fully integrated generator-to-grid, marine renewable energy delivery system with a high degree of reliability and availability, suitable for use in multiple architectures of marine energy systems.
The novel aspect of the project will be the development of a ‘wet-gap’ generator capable of continuous and reliable operation in a marine environment while fully immersed. Other significant developments will be the bearing and seal solution for the generator, active control of the system and predictive maintenance procedures and protocols.

Specific project objectives are:
Objective 1: Develop a ‘wet-gap’ electrical generator design capable of operating in a fully-seawater flooded condition
Objective 2: Develop bearings and seal designs for hydrokinetic machines
Objective 3: Develop and implement control strategies to maximize power output and power quality for multiple prime mover designs
Objective 4: Develop and implement advanced health monitoring system for the system
Objective 5: Validate the system design work through integrated full scale lab testing of system components
Objective 6: Integrate these components into a baseline ORPC hydrokinetic turbine and assess associated economic improvements
Objective 7: Develop standard operating procedures for marine renewable energy systems maintenance events
Objective 8: Dissemination of Project results and findings

The ‘wet-gap’ generator would be highly suitable for use with other MRE systems. By developing a common architecture system, developers can focus on enhancing performance of the prime mover. The acceptance of a common platform will result in a reduction of risk and could present cost advantages due to economies of scale. Reduction in capital costs and adoption of high reliability components will reduce overall life cycle costs of MRE projects and accelerate commercialisation of the technology. Lower cost systems will allow lower intensity resource sites to be considered as commercially viable, and so will expand the available market for marine renewable energy.
The TAOIDE project was structured such that the design and decision process for each work package overlapped and complemented each other in order to reach an optimal final design. Each work package had inputs to other work packages. Parallel processing across work packages was imperative for the success and convergence of work for the final system testing. The structure of the TAOIDE project can be broken down into three phases during its 51-month duration.

Phase 1: During the first phase of the TAOIDE project, work focused on system definitions for each subsystem. These definitions were facilitated by face to face meetings by Project participants which ensured design goals were met. Upon completion of system definitions, the preliminary design phase was undertaken. During this phase of the Project an early stage design of the subsystem was conducted, which was then presented to the Project participants leading other work packages for feedback. This design review was an integral step of the design process to tune design parameters to meet the needs of other subsystems of the power take-off.

Phase 2: During phase 2, the critical design of each subsystem was undertaken. This design work was informed by all participants from the preliminary design review at the end of year one. Critical design involved the final mechanical designs of the bearing and seal solutions, and the simulation of turbine, electrical, and control systems. Phase 2 also saw the start of the subsystem testing, including laboratory verification tests of power electronic modules at UCC’s testing facility. At the end of phase 2 a critical design review was held, including all Project participants to finalize system design choices.

Phase 3: The final phase of the TAOIDE project focused on testing of the full system at IKM’s test facility (originally to be conducted at UCC’s test centre but changed by agreement under Amendment AMD-727465-16). Upon validation of each subsystem, the full system was assembled and tested in accordance with the agree generator test plan devised during phase 3.
To be able to provide reliable electrical generation within a tidal environment it is crucial to develop a generator that can withstand water intrusion. By designing and developing a ‘wet-gap’ generator capable of continuous operation in a fully-flooded condition, enhanced generator longevity, decreased repair times and increased system availability should result.
Consortium members and the EC Project Officer at the Kick-Off Meeting