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Marine Renewable Infrastructure Network for Enhancing Technologies 2

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - MARINET2 (Marine Renewable Infrastructure Network for Enhancing Technologies 2)

Periodo di rendicontazione: 2020-01-01 al 2021-12-31

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. The objectives of MaRINET2 included;
• Standardisation of the testing implemented by the infrastructures
• To improve the quality, robustness and accuracy of physical modelling and testing practices operated by MaRINET2 infrastructures.
• 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 enhance networking between different European research infrastructures
• 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 all five have been held. 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. 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.The third call for access was open from Nov 1st to Dec 15th 2018. Following the review process, €1.25 million in funding was allocated to 37 teams.
During the period of reporting (RP3), the fourth period of access was open. Even though initially extending between January 1st 2020 and June 30th 2020, this access period was extended and some flexibility was offered so as to allow for users to benefit from the granted access in spite of the constraints induced by the COVID-19 pandemic. €1.1 million of funding was allocated to User Groups for Transnational Access in Call 4 and €1.2 million in Call 5.The fifth call for access was organised between the 1st of September 2020 and the 16th of October 2020. As for call 4, the fifth period of access that was opened on January 18th 2021 was extended beyond the ending date initially defined so as to facilitate access to facilities, essentially for projects requesting access to the open sea test sites. Altogether, 70 applications were received in this fifth call, among which 67 were eligible. The total number of days requested by the 67 eligible proposals was about 1241 days (248.2 equivalent weeks). Out of the 67 eligible proposals that were received, a total of 30 (44.8%) were granted access to one of the available research facilities. This corresponds to a total of 99.6 equivalent weeks of access (one equivalent week corresponds to 5 days of access) to the MaRINET2 facilities.

• Round robin testing – The execution of the ‘Round-Robin’ testing program for offshore renewable energy systems was a ‘world’ first for this research area. This developed new procedures for the testing of ORE technology and the influence of the infrastructure of the testing program. High calibre data sets were established from the various testing programs and quality checked and uploaded to the eInfrastructure with open access for future research use. With the tidal energy round robin testing programme two testing devices (a three-bladed horizontal axis turbine of 0.724m diameter and a three-bladed horizontal axis turbine of 1.05m diameter) were tested at 5 test facilities.
The wave energy round robin testing programme involved the design and fabrication of two WEC models that were tested across 4 facilities for 4 months. The offshore wind energy round robin testing programme saw a 1/60 model scale of an offshore wind turbine tested at 4 facilities.

• 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. 10 courses organized (789 participants/1228 applications –avg. 79/123 per course)

• Online training – 2 webinars on TNA calls application organized; audio-visual slides produced. 2 webinars to promote Virtual Access.

• 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.

• 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. 17 applications were received and 4 selected project
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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