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Marine Renewable Infrastructure Network for Enhancing Technologies 2

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - MARINET2 (Marine Renewable Infrastructure Network for Enhancing Technologies 2)

Reporting period: 2018-07-01 to 2019-12-31

Evolving from the successful EC-funded MaRINET Infrastructures Network, MaRINET2 is working towards its vision of unlocking the energy potential of our oceans by ensuring the integration and enhancement of leading European research infrastructures specialising in research, development and testing of Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) systems.
ORE is an important source of clean energy that can generate economic growth and employment, increase energy security and boost competitiveness and technological innovation. The realisation of this potential depends on the accelerated development, deployment and grid integration of reliable, efficient technologies for harvesting ORE, which in turn requires robust testing in dedicated facilities with specialised expertise. MaRINET2 provides this platform and is pre-eminently suited to fostering the next generation of ORE devices.
The objectives of MaRINET2 are:
• Standardisation of the testing implemented by the infrastructures along with an independent verification process for analysing and approving the results generated in the Transnational Access (TA) programme
• To improve the quality, robustness and accuracy of physical modelling and testing practices operated by MaRINET2 infrastructures. This includes developing new physical modelling practices for systems and subsystems under development for ORE systems where currently no standardisation exists
• To provide access to Research Infrastructures related to ORE research, to foster networking between researchers in Europe through transnational access to the infrastructures, and to encourage interchange and dissemination of research results through user meetings.
• To deliver new and representative sets of standardised testing procedures to be adopted by MaRINET2 infrastructure within the TA programme
• To enhance networking between different European research infrastructures, improving capacities and capabilities through training and staff exchange
• To design and implement an overall e-Infrastructure to demonstrate the deployment of data and virtual services
• To optimise uptake and exploitation of project results
• To offer high-quality training (specific technical skills and essential generic and transferable skills) relevant for ORE to both academia and industry through short-course and webinar programmes with a strong hands-on component
• To contribute to the improvement of knowledge transfer between research centres, academia and industry
• To develop an EU standard for education on ORE
Work performed and key results to date include:
• Transnational Access (TA) – Five calls for TA were planned at the beginning of the project, and two of these have been held to date. The first call was launched on April 10th 2017 and ended on May 20th 2017. Following a detailed review of applications by a User Selection Board consisting of experts in wave, tidal, offshore wind and cross-cutting technologies, €1.3 million in funding was awarded to 34 independent technology teams including two non-EU projects (from Canada and Australia). These teams availed of access to infrastructures across Europe to test their devices during the period July 15th 2017 to January 15th 2018. Upon completion of their access, each user group produced a post-access report, describing in detail the results of their testing. A number of user groups presented their TA experience at the first user workshop, which was held in Lisbon in April 2018.
The second call for access was open from January 15th to February 28th 2018. Following the review process, €1.1 million in funding was allocated to 32 teams out of 55 eligible applications. The successful teams included three from outside the EU – one from Australia and two from the USA. The access period for Call 2 began on April 20th 2018 and will end on October 30th 2018.
• Round robin testing – Planning of the round robin test campaigns for selected wave, offshore wind, and tidal devices at a number of test facilities across Europe took place during the present reporting period. Round robin activities for developing electrical systems and emerging technologies (e.g. turbine blades, material coatings, moorings and sub-sea cables) have also been planned. Two rounds of testing of the tidal device have already been completed, with testing of other technologies due to get underway this autumn.
• Short courses - A programme of 10 different short courses targeting researchers, students, and industry has been developed to provide training in topics of relevance to the ORE sector. The first of these courses entitled ‘Experimental modelling of wind actions and structural response’ was held in Florence in June 2018. The second course (‘Remote sensing of offshore wind conditions’) is due to take place in Denmark in October 2018.
• Online training – In the first reporting period, a webinar and audio-visual slides were prepared to provide training in the TA application process. These are available on the project website. A webinar is also available that describes the Virtual Access services available through MaRINET2.
• Virtual access (VA) – A VA programme has been established in MaRINET2 with the aim of providing access to widely used resources necessary for research. These services include a wave hindcast database, a web portal for managing data for validating wind farm models and met station data. A number of applications for VA have been received during the present reporting period. These will be assessed in the coming months.
• Personnel exchange programme – A personnel exchange programme has been established which allows any staff or students in MaRINET2 organisations to visit another organisation to learn a new skill or improve their expertise in an area related to the ORE industry. The programme is currently open for applications.
The joint research programme in MaRINET2 is designed to advance the state of the art in terms of testing methods, particularly in the TRL1-4 range. The TA programme will provide wider, simplified and more efficient access to testing infrastructures across Europe. It is envisaged that the enhanced testing capabilities developed within MaRINET2, as well as the standardisation of existing methods, will improve the services provided by testing infrastructures to the ORE sector. This will provide the industry with a faster pathway to commercialisation and reduce the technical and financial risk when moving to higher TRLs.
The round robin testing (RRT) element of MaRINET2 will provide for the first time quantification and understanding of the influences that the testing facility will have on the performance of a device. It will also facilitate road-testing of the standardisation work being carried out in MaRINET2, before it is rolled out for implementation in all infrastructures. The RRT will provide high quality reference data sets, which will be made publicly available via the e-infrastructure developed in MaRINET2 as well as through peer-reviewed journal papers.
The potential wider impacts of the work being undertaken in MaRINET2 are:
• MaRINET2 is assisting SMEs advance renewable technologies. This will strengthen the growth and competitiveness of these companies and create new jobs.
• Accelerating Europe towards a low /zero carbon economy by helping ORE developers advance their technologies through the TRLs.
• Europe’s position as the global leader in ORE innovation will be consolidated
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