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Commercialisation of a Recyclable and Innovative Manufacturing Solution for an Optimised Novel marine turbine.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - CRIMSON (Commercialisation of a Recyclable and Innovative Manufacturing Solution for an Optimised Novel marine turbine.)

Reporting period: 2021-03-01 to 2022-05-31

Climate change is arguably the greatest challenge facing humanity and it presents a risk to the survival of the species. Against this backdrop, the current conflict in Ukraine further underscores the perils of Europe’s overreliance of fossil fuels form outside its borders. Hence, it is imperative to develop sustainable, commercial, marine energy. The CRIMSON project presents a low-risk approach to achieving this goal by developing sustainable marine energy. The wave and tidal energy industry sectors plan to deploy 100GW of production capacity by 2050 and hence play a vital role in addressing one of the EU’s biggest challenges: an energy transition from a system based on imported fossil fuels to a flexible and interconnected system based on clean, renewable and infinite domestic resources.

The overarching aim of the CRIMSON project is to bring to market an innovative MHK power system at reduced cost and increased reliability/performance with full consideration and planning for the cradle to grave lifecycle, and with a goal of maximizing recycled content in manufacture. The immediate impact of the market adoption of this technology will be to displace energy production from fossil fuels with renewable marine energy. The medium-term impact of the project will be to demonstrate a technology that has the potential to generate gigawatts of energy from tidal currents.

The corresponding commercialisation and technical Work Plan objectives are to:
• Implement a commercialisation strategy leading to the effective uptake of the ORPC MHK power systems within Europe
• Further de-risk the use of recycled carbon fibre material (rCF) in the marine environment through mechanical testing and assess the environmental impact rCF over its functional lifespan
• Design and manufacture a new sustainable MHK turbine, which includes an advanced structural health monitoring system and modular design to produce reliable, predicable renewable energy
• Prove the structural integrity of the new sustainable MHK turbine through advanced structural testing of a turbine demonstrator
• Perform operational trials of the new full-scale sustainable MHK turbine
• Reduce LCoE for ORPC’s power systems to reach a target of 150 €/kWh by 2025 in line with the Ocean Energy SET-plan.
The CRIMSON consortium executed a a broad range of activities during the first period of the project. As part of WP3 Production and De-risking of rCF Materials for Turbine Manufacturing, the rCF material was de-risked for its application in the marine environment through rigorous mechanical testing in ÉIRE’s certified Composites Testing Laboratory. In addition, the environmental impact of using rCF for this novel application was performed, demonstrating how the use of recycled materials will produce a far more environmentally friendly product than previously achieved. The mechanical testing results from WP3 were then be incorporated into the design of the new sustainable MHK turbine in WP4 Design and manufacture of the new sustainable and modular MHK turbine. A number of manufacturing trials were performed in order to develop a manufacturing process suitable for volume production, followed by the manufacture of a demonstrator full-scale foil.
In parallel to the technical work, several commercial activities were also undertaken. An extensive global review was performed to determine the commercial, technical, and environmental operating requirements for proposed tidal energy devices. The review considered the wider global opportunity in terms of the tidal energy, regulatory environment, revenue supports and the overall attractiveness to do business. The review includes a SWOT analysis of the CRIMSON technology in the tidal energy sector. A business plan was also created which details the route-to-market alongside the financing and operational /resource allocation strategy based on expected generated revenue. The business plan outlines the projected commercial risks and returns and the associated funding requirements.
During the reporting period, the project partners published five conference papers and one journal paper.
The current state-of-the-art of composite material recycling consists of energy generation by burning the shredded used composites (from marine and wind components). In most cases, however, the used composite structures go straight to landfill and this potential energy capture through burning is foregone. The CF that does get recycled is primarily downcycled into lower value products.
Currently, CF is not commonly recovered as there is no significant high-volume market for recycled carbon fibre material. CRIMSON proposes a circular economy where old marine components (or other materials containing carbon fibres) are exposed to a pyrolysis process to recover the CF materials and then – instead of being downcycled, are reused for the high-value application of marine component production.
Testing work, carried out to date, has allowed the project partners to benchmark the rCF material against virgin materials commonly used in marine energy applications. Testing is underway to evaluate any performance degradation for rCF in seawater. The results show that rCF may not be the best option for some highly loaded applications but that it can nonetheless be used for a wide variety of marine applications.
Considerable work was also undertaken on mould design. 3D printed composite mould prototypes were developed and work is ongoing to assess whether these can be used to manufacture full-scale parts. The approach would allow for rapid prototyping of novel foil geometries and facilitate cost reduction.
CRIMSON is perfectly aligned with the Energy Societal Challenge Goals and Objectives (cleaner, more efficient energy production) and the demand for solutions based on circular economy and integrated supply chains. It will also demonstrate the suitability of rCF as a material for use in components for marine renewable energy systems. ORPC will be the first end user of the proposed technologies in their TidGen and RivGen Power Systems, following the completion of the CRIMSON project. The project aims to reduce the LCoE of tidal energy by 20% and create a new market for marine renewable energy.
CNR meeting
Foil prototype