Equitable Testing and Evaluation of Marine Energy Extraction Devices in terms of Performance, Cost and Environmental Impact
THE UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH
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Eh8 9yl Edinburgh
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
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Angela Noble (Ms.)
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Grant agreement ID: 213380
15 April 2008
14 April 2011
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THE UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH
Protocols developed for marine green energy
CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENVIRONMENT
Grant agreement ID: 213380
15 April 2008
14 April 2011
€ 5 482 036,40
€ 3 990 024
THE UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH
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Final Report Summary - EQUIMAR (Equitable Testing and Evaluation of Marine Energy Extraction Devices in terms of Performance, Cost and Environmental Impact.)
The EquiMar project was a major collaborative project funded through the European Union which sought to accelerate the adoption of ocean energy systems through providing a rational suite of protocols that: (i) helped to match technology and scale of deployment to site specific considerations; (ii) defined acceptable methodologies to evaluate the environmental consequence of deployment; (iii) developed techniques for equitable comparison of the economic potential; for the deployment of small to medium arrays.
The project initially involved 23 European partners, including scientists, engineers, ecologists and developers - with one partner withdrawing halfway through the project. EquiMar was funded through the European Commission 7th Framework Programme (grant agreement 213380). The project, with a total budget of €5.5 million, had a primary objective of producing a suite of protocols to enable a broad range of stakeholders to judge the variety of technologies in wave and tidal energy on a level playing field. The protocols reflect the entire development cycle of a marine device (Figure 1): resource assessment and site selection; fundamental engineering design; scaling up and deployment; environmental impact and economic assessment. The project began on the 15th of April 2008 and finished on the 14th of April 2011. A book containing the finished protocols has been published by the University of Edinburgh and is available either from the print-on-demand website www.lulu.com as a soft back book for €17, or for free as a pdf file from the project's wiki pages https://www.wiki.ed.ac.uk/display/EquiMarwiki/EquiMar and on the project web-site equimar.org and eu-oea.com.
Project Context and Objectives:
EquiMar focused on the development of a series of technology evaluation protocols for marine energy, specifically wave and (kinetic) tidal current energy extraction systems. It was developed in response to topic 2.6.3 (entitled pre-normative research for ocean energy) published in the 2007 work programme for the first round of EC FP7 projects. The Commission had identified the need for the development of a series of equitable evaluation protocols as a result of the fact that, to date, any research (RTD) or demonstration projects funded had set their own criteria for evaluation - and as a result all been successful.
The project protocols have been developed in a two-stage process. Initially a system of "high level" documents describing the aims and remit of the individual protocols were developed. These were published for consultation with the wider ocean energy community and refined through a series of workshops and questionnaires before being used as a basis for the final detailed protocols.
The high level protocols were conceived to meet two fundamental requirements. Firstly, EquiMar is an ambitious project in terms of both scope and number of collaborators, so there was a need to maintain consistency and clarity as each protocol was developed. The high level protocols therefore served as a template for the detailed specifications, clarifying content, identifying gaps and links within the overall work and finally helping to maintain focus on the final goals. Secondly, the high level documents provided a mechanism for engagement of the many stakeholders. Early feedback on the direction and coverage of the protocols was fundamental to achieving, where practical, a consensus from the diverse ocean energy community. The process used was based on the practices of an international Certifying Agency (DNV) and was intended to ensure that the protocols were fit for guiding proposed international standards and incorporation into them.
One benefit of this approach is that the high level protocols form an enduring, future-proof, consensus based, highly structured basis for all the protocols. The high-level protocols are described in a Part I of the book.
The detailed protocols (Table 1) serve as a concise summary distilling the recommendations and procedures from more than 30 publically available reports published by the Consortium, and available from the project website www.equimar.org. Even in a distilled form the six protocols represent more than 200 pages of text. As with the "high level" documents the detailed protocols have been refined following feedback from stakeholders after a public workshop held during the 3rd International Conference on Ocean Energy (ICOE 2010) in Bilbao.
The protocols are accompanied by a commentary describing how the protocols can be used as part of a procedure for the management and mitigation of risk in the development of devices and large-scale projects. This commentary ties the stages of device development and levels of risk into the scale of 9 Technology Readiness Levels (Table 2) that were published by the US Department of Energy (DoE) having been adapted to marine energy. These descriptions have been further adapted to the process of tank tests, sea trials and full scale multi-device arrays, which is the basis for the engineering strand of EquiMar. The TRLs can be related to the overall system, or to a component within the system. When assessing the TRL it is important to consider the environment and the application that the system is operating in, versus what it has been developed in. For example, at present, gearboxes used in dry environments with an inspection and maintenance frequency of between 6 months and 1 year could be considered to have a TRL of 9. If, however, the gearbox is to be submerged, or is subject to less frequent maintenance, the TRL would be reduced from 9 to as low as 5 or 6 depending on the application.
By reporting the Technology Readiness Level of a concept along with the risk, an indication can be provided to a stakeholder, or potential stakeholder, of the level of uncertainty involved and conclusion drawn regarding the risk of adopting the technology. It does not provide a direct identification of the risk, but by identifying the level of maturity of the technology it can be used in conjunction with the risk assessment to provide better background to the risk assessment.
From an engineering perspective these TRLs can be mapped onto a stage gate process of device development (see Figure 1) and incorporated into a system of stage gate reviews to be followed through the evolution of a technology, as shown in Figure 2.
In addition to the overarching objective of producing the protocols each of the 9 RTD work packages has its own specific objectives (Table 3). Of particular note are the production of a database of available wave and tidal monitoring data from WP2 and the development of a consistent nomenclature across wave and tidal energy systems (WP5). Throughout the project significant dissemination activities have taken place through and in addition to the project website, a YouTube channel has been established with a number of short films on marine energy and the need for protocols, and three magazine articles have been published.
It is important to realise that the EquiMar project does not stand-alone but is closely integrated into the National and International standardisation efforts being undertaken. On the International level the project had a formal, Class A, liaison with the International Electro technical Commission's (IEC) Technical Committee on ocean energy (TC 114), allowing the project to vote on proposals and nominate experts for working parties. A number of partners were also national representatives on the International Energy Agencies implementing agreement on Ocean Energy (IEA-OES). At the National level many of the project participants are acting as experts for the working groups associated with standards committees, as well as being members of their National mirror committees for IEC TC114. The project has also led to a number of new work proposals being put to the TC114 steering committee for the development of new standards and technical specification whose initial drafts will be based largely on outputs from the project. Such engagement with the international standardisation efforts in marine energy is critical to the success of the project.
WP1 - Knowledge Base for Marine Energy Systems
Work package 1 has attempted at building a knowledge base for marine energy systems with respect to all the areas covered by the global project. Through the analysis of the relevant pre-existing information in the sector of marine energy and other similar industries it has provided important guidelines and input for other technical Work Packages and has partly addressed the future work through the analysis of impressions and needs directly collected from the stakeholders.
The objectives can be summarised into three main lines:
-To analyse results from previous National, European and International activities in the field of pre-normative research for marine energy.
-To identify lessons learnt from other sectors, which can be applied to produce harmonised testing and assessment of marine energy extraction devices.
-To understand and take account of explicit stakeholders' needs and practical constraints for matching different system designs to various marine environments.
The work has been therefore divided in three tasks:
-Task 1.1: Analysis of background information. Existing guidelines, recommendations, methodologies and protocols for the assessment of marine energy systems have been compiled and analysed. Principal sources of information are constituted by previous National, European and International RTD activities and all the interested partners have helped to identify the useful data and the knowledge gaps. A global analysis report has been issued as final outcome of this task: "Global analysis of pre-normative research activities for marine energy". The present report addressed the current state of marine energy technology by comparing and analysing existing guidelines, recommendations, protocols and other technical specifications for assessment, modelling, design and analysis of marine energy technologies. It is intended to provide an extensive collection of fundamental references for wave and tidal energy research and a first input basis for future work within the EquiMar Consortium. Particular attention has been devoted to general and globally aimed approaches rather than methodologies defined for a specific kind of device. The idea is to analyse previous established results in the marine energy pre-normative field and identify possible data and knowledge gaps to be faced in the future for improvement and harmonisation of the assessment techniques of marine energy devices.
-Task 1.2: Lessons learnt from other sectors. Previous experiences in the development of international protocols and standards in similar business sectors such as wind energy and offshore oil & gas extraction have been analysed in order to identify possible information overlapping with marine energy and limitations and difficulties in applying these guidelines to the marine energy sector. A recommendation report has been produced: "Recommendations from other sectors". This report presents a brief critical list of existing international standard and guidelines that have been defined and applied successfully to different business sectors and whose content is believed to be useful for wave and tidal energy technology development. It is intended to provide a review of established standardisation processes and a general input basis for future work within the EquiMar Consortium which will be primarily aimed at defining protocols for marine energy performance assessment. Background information is taken from established industrial sectors that have faced challenges and difficulties similar to the ones being encountered by wave and tidal technologies and is mainly based on standards or guideline documents that have proven their applicability through different experiences.
The idea is to provide a global understanding of how standards and recommendations are specified and to identify which areas are covered by these documents in such a frame that knowledge can be transferred to the marine energy sector.
-Task 1.3: Consultation to key stakeholders. Different actors and interested parties in marine energy have been invited to contribute with a questionnaire to determine their perception of the current status of this technology and future needs and constraints. Key stakeholders taken into account are developers, investors, certification bodies, power distributors and policy makers. A European workshop session has been organised in October 2008 next to the 2nd International Ocean Energy Conference in Brest to present the objectives of the project. Outcomes from this meeting jointly with a presentation of the results coming from the responses to the questionnaire have been collected in a conclusion report: "Workshop conclusion on key stakeholders' consultation". The document contains the conclusions about the state of the technology, the availability of information, key future actions and other aspects concerning marine energies, from the point of view of different stakeholders. The first part of the deliverable represents the minutes of the Workshop, from the introduction and presentations of the work packages to the conclusions extracted from the later group discussions. The second part shows the results of the questionnaire to stakeholders. It consisted of 14 questions on the aforementioned topics and others related to the situation of wave and tidal energies. Most (75%) of the respondents of the questionnaire were people involved to some extent in research within marine energies (figure 1), which makes sense when talking about an immature industry. For a promising future of marine energies, respondents see that it is necessary that all the actors cooperate to create common projects, involvement of investors and policy makers (by means of support mechanisms) is crucial and, therefore, needs to be attracted by marketing and dissemination actions. Interaction with public institutions, grid management bodies and supply industry for maintenance and installation is believed to be most helpful too for the deployment of large scale arrays.
As for device developers, guaranteeing continuous and high electric power output and reducing costs by reducing routine maintenance and manufacturing capital cost are identified as the key strategies to follow so that technology reaches commercial viability.
According to the respondents of the questionnaire, a reference sector from which to learn lessons can be Oil & Gas industry, for its vast offshore experience, and offshore wind, for the most similar requirements and constraints.
There are still large uncertainties, like the ones regarding the influence of the number of devices on the performance, and environmental impact assessment. Fisheries and marine mammals are perceived as the most sensitive factors to impact by the infrastructures and the ones that require most thorough monitoring.
Some of the questions asked to provide separate answers to wave and tidal energy; the results show that they both seem to share the same development stage and face similar difficulties.
A general conclusion is that the current lack of experience in all aspects concerning marine energies leads to low quality information for developers and investors to rely on. Respondents think that the protocols produced by EquiMar should be compact and schematic and addressed both at device developers and investors (figure 2), and that it will be useful to avail of them throughout different steps, from early stage design to full scale testing.
WP2 - Physical Environment Specification
Introduction: The process of resource assessment should provide a quantified estimate of the available marine energy resource and an assessment of the operating and survival characteristics of a specific site. This process relies on both physical measurements and numerical modelling techniques. The guidance produced during the course of work package-2 covers both these areas and identifies their appropriate applications, strengths and limitations.
The main objectives of this workpackage are (i) to establish and apply methodologies to characterise wave and tidal parameters for resource assessment on a site specific scale and (ii) to produce protocols to guide the industry in the use of physical and numerical methods relevant to resource assessment allowing fair comparison between sites and device types. This workpackage has been broken down into six major tasks and the outcomes of these tasks were reported in the form of six publicly available deliverable documents. The contents of these deliverables are briefly outlined below.
Database: A common wave and tidal database was assembled based upon wave and tidal data held by the project partners. This database has over 100 instrumentation stations across Europe. The details of these instrumentations (location, duration, instrument & data type, data owner and their contact details etc.) are accessed through a website with the raw data available for download by the project partners. This database supported the analyses conducted during the course of the project.
Characterisation of wave and tidal parameters: Detailed site assessment will involve physical measurement of the resource to validate and calibrate numerical model programmes. The applications of a number of measurement devices, including wave buoys, acoustic Doppler profilers, radar and satellite systems etc have been presented based on the deployment experience of the relevant partners. This includes a discussion of the technical aspects of these devices in addition to the practicalities of conducting a measurement programme. The key wave and tidal parameters for the estimation of the resource have been defined and the techniques for their calculation have been presented. Methods to determine and quantify the spatial and temporal variation of wave and tidal parameters and the corresponding power variation were described. The long term spectral variation for selected sites was examined through case studies. Procedures for data quality control and uncertainty in parameters calculations have been provided.
Numerical wave and tidal modelling guidance: Numerical models potentially play several important roles in the assessment of the marine energy resource. For geographical level Resource Characterisation a model may be deployed to provide data over a wide area for a statistically significant period of time. This combination of wide spatial and long temporal coverage is generally not feasible by direct measurement. Point measurement devices (e.g. wave buoys) require multiple deployments to provide useful spatial information and long measurement programmes are not economical. Remote measurement devices (e.g. satellites) provide more detailed spatial information but their temporal coverage tends to be sporadic. Guidance on the deployment of these models has been produced discussing: the attributes of the available models; the model processes; bathymetry; boundary input conditions; setting up the computational domain; output parameter extraction; and calibration and validation. This guidance has been produced for a wide audience including non-specialists.
Intercomparison of wave models - case study: Many sites of interest to the wave energy community are in relatively shallow water in coastal regions. Numerical wave modelling will play a key role in transforming deep water conditions to a specific coastal site. The transformation process is intended to take into account factors such as coastal topography, local bathymetry, wind and current. The models available to the project partners were compared in order to ensure that this process could be conducted in a robust and consistent manner. Four models, namely SWAN (structured and unstructured), MIKE21, TOMAWAC, WAM, were applied at a site in Portugal (Figueira da Foz, Figure 3) and Orkney, UK (European Marine Energy Test Centre). Each model was validated against common buoy measurements and the results were found to be generally in good agreement. Effect of bathymetry resolution, presence and absence of wind input, effect of frequency and directional discretisation have been investigated in detail.
Intercomparison of tidal models - case study: Tidal current measurements tend to be limited to point measurements with limited durations. Analysis of the harmonic components allows long term prediction of currents at geographical level. Numerical modelling provides localised spatial and temporal information accounting for local bathymetry and coastline influences. An intercomparison exercise was performed using the 2D finite element models TELEMAC and MIKE21 FM (Figure 4). Calibration of both models showed an important sensitivity to the bed friction parameterisation used. Other effects shown were the possibility of shallow water influence when using a wetting and drying model, and changes to flows by meteorological influences.
Extreme wave estimation: The calculation of return values for wave parameters is challenging due to the typically short duration of physical measurements and the possible bias in long duration hindcasts. It is therefore necessary to apply extrapolation techniques using empirical distributions fitted to the available data to obtain the higher return values. As with all techniques of extrapolation, the result is very sensitive to the model of extrapolation. The model must be chosen based on robust physical or statistical considerations. Detailed guidance is given on the calculation of extreme parameters (20, 50, 100 year return periods) including both uni-variate and multi-variate distributions. This work was supported by a case study at Figueira da Foz, Portugal using buoy measurements and ERA40 dataset.
Resource assessment protocol: The scope and detail of a resource assessment is dependent on the stage of the project. The guidance contained in the final protocol is framed in terms of three consecutive project stages (Table 1). Early stage resource assessment is conducted to establish first order resource characteristics. This resource characterisation process may be conducted at geographical scale to identify specific regions suitable for a more detailed site assessment. The analysis conducted under this project development phase should establish detailed site characteristics for assessing the exploitable potential of the site along with information for site specific engineering design. Finally the operation phase of the project will involve the assessment of operating conditions for benchmarking purposes and possibly short term resource forecasting.
Summary: This workpackage covered guidance and procedures for evaluation of key wave and tidal parameters necessary for resource assessment through data analysis, numerical wave and tidal modelling, supported by case studies. Protocols for resource assessment with due consideration to different stages of a marine energy project is also developed.
WP3 - Concept appraisal and tank testing practices for 1st stage prototype devices
Currently, no common or best practices are being implemented in appraising the performance of early stage conceptual wave and tidal devices. This work package delivered a best practice to be used in the appraisal of early stage conceptual wave and tidal devices using computational and numerical tools; and small scale prototype devices for performance assessment in wave and tidal test tanks. The uptake and implementation of these best practices will provide a device developer with the ability to demonstrate de-risking in scaling up the technology to the next stage in device development and quickly identify where improvements in device performance can be made. These practices provide the ability to bench mark device performance, quantitative benefits in developments implemented and comparison with other technology architecture. This provides the necessary confidence to potential investors and regulatory bodies that the developer has adopted robust assessment practices in early stage development in order to de-risk the scaling up of the device for in-sea testing and proving.
Phase 1: Conceptual Appraisal using computational and numerical methods.
In this first part of this WP, engagement with 43 device developers demonstrated early stage assessment of device concepts were being undertaken for a variety of purposes using a considerable number of tools or methods (as reported within Deliverable 3.1). These were more likely to be associated with securing investment and the provision of graphics and images for reporting purposes and not necessarily for demonstrating robust device performance or identifying opportunities for improvement. In some cases depending on the tools/ methodologies being used, contradictory information is being produced creating confusion and miss-understanding with the wider marine renewable stake-holders. This work delivered a procedure for undertaking the performance appraisal of conceptual wave and tidal devices. It adopted a modularised approach which enables the different stages of energy capture and conversation to be appraised independently. This not only enables the overall performance of the wave/ tidal device to be ascertained but also identifies which stages of the energy conversion process are performing well and which stages require further improvement to enhance device performance (as reported within Deliverable 3.2). This will provide feedback to device developers on how there device is performing when bench marked against a normalised standard; and where they should focus future development efforts and resource to achieve quantifiable improvements on device performance and hence improve confidence when evolving to the next stages of development involving tank testing of a small prototype device.
Phase 2: Tank testing
For the second part ofWP3 there are two principle scales of experimental testing which were considered: those being associated with Stages 1 (Proof of Concept type tests) and Stages 2 (Design and Feasibility Study tests). Stage 1 models would typically be tested at around 1:50 scale, with tests focussing on general device performance parameter and comparison of these to predictive tools. Stage 2 involved both an increase in scale (1:10 scale) and associated level of performance quantification through testing of individual subsystem components.
A survey was conducted of small-scale test facilities available in the EU, and of practices adopted at these facilities, specifically for the testing of marine energy devices. In general, with the exception of practices adopted from naval architecture and offshore engineering industries, i.e. those associated with testing ship hulls, propellers, oilrigs and spars, facilities would have in-house or bespoke methods associated with the particular services provided by facilities.
It was also found that developers often tend to manage all aspects their own series of experiments, and do not engage fully with the experience and knowledge available at the facility. In these situations, developers would arrive, attain the services of the technical team at the facility but only in setting up the test series, run the series and leave with the experimental results.
In terms of the available infrastructure, the principal modes of operation of various facility types were described along with the measurement systems. Any perceived weaknesses or limitations of these systems have been described. This ranges from the measured properties, e.g. the flow or wave field, or some variable of the device, through the signal processing and amplification stages to the output as a performance parameter for the device. Therefore WP3 has described limitations in current practise in terms of facility operation philosophy, facility type, test design and performance, and finally, data handling and presentation.
With this information, it was found that due to the varying complexity and different operating modes of both devices and facilities, the best course of action was to arrive at a means for a developer to be able to prove that their device works by providing evidence that it attains an efficiency defined in a standard manner for the device class e.g. to a prescribed degree of accuracy and for a percentage duration of the test period. To this end, means of specifying the various efficiencies throughout a device were described for all current device classes, and a standard methodology for attaining the uncertainty of the experimental tests were presented.
In order to help achieve these requirements, it is suggested that guidance given in Design of Experiment methodologies (within Deliverable 3.4) are adopted, and methods are presented whereby error introduction is reduced or eliminated. In order to strengthen test programmes methods and requirements for sensor choice, placement and calibration are given, as are requirements on the number and duration of measurements, manufacturing tolerances and properties of prototype models and how to perform test on extreme or rarely occurring events, including suggested monitoring parameters.
Since the rationale behind Deliverables 3.3 and 3.4 is to aid in generating the highest quality dataset, simple methods are presented for analysing data streams, performing statistical analysis for the purpose of error identification and reduction. These will aid both developers at the time of experiments in performing data quality assurance, as well as those who need to check the quality of stated results.
Finally, guidance is given on record keeping, storage and annotation of data, data reduction, reporting and presentation. Emphasis is placed on achieving a high quality dataset of the raw data, with complete metadata allowing fully traceable experimental results to be derived from these, according to specified data reduction equations. Standard correction factors and methods are presented allowing the combining of results from different tests or facilities within the final presented document in a consistent and regularised manned.
These methods have been written in a manner which is consistent with Stages 3 and 4 testing, which will be undertaken as per Work Package 4 deliverables.
In summary WP3 has provided a robust Best Practice in order to uplift current practices in scale tank testing that will ensure high quality data acquisition and presentation of performance parameters. Adoption of these practices will aid the industry by more accurately quantifying fundamental device performance and providing a more robust platform from which to advance to larger scale in-sea testing of marine energy devices.
WP 4: Sea Trial Testing Procedures for Marine Energy Extraction Devices
Introduction: Solo device sea trials are the natural progression from tank testing (WP3) smaller scaled devices and the pre-cursor of economic demonstration of small arrays to multiple devices (WP5). This structured development programme is shown for a wave energy device (figure 5) in which sea trials cover Stage 3 (circa ¼ scale sub-system testing) and Stage 4 (circa full scale device proving) of the schedule.
A key consideration throughout the process has been to co-operate with other groups concerned with the development process of ocean energy devices. In particular the 5 Stage development programme is based on the International Energy Agency-Ocean Energy Systems Implementing Agreement, Annex II (OES_IA). It is also in line with the US Department of Energy's Marine Hydrokinetic (DOE MHK) programme Technology Readiness Level (TRL) approach. The relationship between the 5 Stages & the 9 TRLs is shown (figure 5). In 2007 the International Electrotecnical Commission set up a new technical committee (IEC TC114) to address ocean energy matters. Two project teams were charged with developing a technical specification for the evaluation of the performances of wave and tidal energy converters respectively. The EquiMar sea trial Manuals have closely referenced these documents to ensure there are no contradictions in the approaches, indeed that they are complementary.
Rationale: Sea Trials, when conducted correctly in an unrestrained ocean environment, build confidence in the functionality, maintenance, operation and performance of a device and its ability to survive in extreme conditions.
Sea Trials verify if the Ocean Energy Converter is fit-for-purpose and could be certified for service.
Objectives: To establish standard test programmes, monitoring approaches and outline analysis and presentation methodologies that are robust enough to cope when the environmental conditions are no longer controllably and must be accepted as they occur. To achieve these objectives three documents were produced:
➢ A separate Sea Trial Manual for wave a tidal energy converters, (WECs & TECS);
➢ A methodology for evaluating sea trial data and reducing uncertainty in the conclusions before the full test programme has been completed;
➢ A summary of the test centre infrastructure being established to assist the device developers to conduct the sea trials safely and successfully and with minimal technical and economic risk.
Scope: The passage through Stage 3 and Stage 4 is a demanding technical development path that to date only the pioneering device developers who have attempted to complete it can fully appreciate. Experience to date has shown that to accomplish the development process a device must progress through 3 phases, as shown (figure 6):
➢ a pre-prototype scale unit of approximately ¼ size that will verify the sub-systems;
➢ a pre-production prototype at approximately full size that will verify the design;
➢ a pre-commercial full size prototype that incorporates the modifications and re-fits discovered necessary during the sea trials of the previous unit.
Another key requirement taken into consideration for the Sea Trial Manual is that it would be based on the philosophy of learning-from-previous-experiences. Some of the leading technology teams were consulted throughout the document production to ensure any difficulties they discovered would be included in a Lessons Learned & Shared Experiences section.
Sea Trial Manual Methodology: Sea Trials are about more than just the power performance of an ocean energy converter. They must cover all aspects specified in the rationale above and should have the underling requirement to de-risk the development path. This means the testing manual must include all the processes involved in operations from sea-to-grid, or wave-to-wire as it is often referenced. (Figure 7) depicts the various energy conversion stages that occur in typical wave and tidal machines and clearly shows the multi-disciplinary nature of the two technologies. Any test manual must be capable of dealing with this mixed engineering, including specific Stage Gate criteria for each sub-system that must be applied at the conclusion of a test set to assist the design team in the evaluation process. From these due diligence reviews the decision on the continuation of the device development will be made.
To assist in the production of the Sea Trial Manual, therefore, each type of converter, WEC or TEC, was split into sub-systems representing each of the energy conversion phases (figure 8). In addition sections were includes on the interpretation of the Resource and the logging of the Operations & Maintenance required during the sea trials.
The sub-systems identified were:
➢ Power Take-Off, including control systems;
➢ Reaction, including the support structure or moorings;
➢ Operations & Maintenance, including deployment, recovery, de-commissioning, health & safety issues and environmental statements.
A separate colour coded section is written for each sub-system based on a standard format which describes:
➢ The purposes for conduct the reported tests;
➢ The objectives of the tests;
➢ Pointers for the successful completion of the tests;
➢ At which Stage of the sea trials a particular type of test should be conducted;
➢ The data acquisition required and monitoring parameters to include;
➢ The measuring sensor options;
➢ The data analysis to be performed on the recorded data;
➢ The recommended data presentation approach;
➢ The Stage Gate Criteria
➢ Lessons Learned and Shared Experiences
Sea Trial Data Evaluation: Despite the best of intention, planning and preparation it is likely that when the sea trial data is being evaluated gaps will be found and missing configurations located. Also, design teams will probably attempt to evaluate the device's overall suitability during the trials before all the configurations or seaways have been experienced. To assist in this process a new methodology is introduced that will help reduce the uncertainty in the evaluation of the limited data sets. The confidence limit that can be applied to the analysed results is increased as more raw files are added to the records and the technique for doing this statistical procedure is explained.
Sea Trial Test Centres: To assist device developers achieve successful and safe sea trials an extensive infrastructure is being established around Europe in the form of recognised test Centres. EquiMar supports this network and would encourage developers to make use of the facilities wherever possible. A comprehensive catalogue of these Centres has been compiled, listing the support offered at each Centre and the wave climate already established by the operators of the facilities. Permitting, licensing and environmental requirements for accepting a berth at the establishments are listed.
The Centres are sub-divided into; nursery (or large scale) sites, full size prototype sites and semi-commercial ad hoc sites. There is a separate section for wave and tidal sea trials.
WP5 - Deployment Assessment: Performance of Multi-Megawatt Device Array
Part IIC of the EquiMar protocol concerns deployment and performance assessment of multi-megawatt arrays of marine energy converters. At the time of publication there has been no equivalent document or report giving such guidance. Part IIC of the protocol is structured to provide a seminal base of information upon which array development can progress. Guidance provided is both qualitative and quantitative in nature. The guidance given is divided into pre-deployment and operational actions.
A new methodology for the classification of wave and tidal energy devices was developed. Building upon and complimenting existing classification methods the new approach divided the device into 4 distinct subsystems; Hydrodynamic (energy capture), Power take-off (drive train), control and reaction (support structure and foundation/anchor). The classification provides a medium level of description that will allow equitable comparison and differentiation of devices by technical and non-technical stakeholders. It is evident that the classification has been referenced by other marine energy stakeholders before the completion date of the EquiMar Project which is an encouraging indicator that this work is both complimentary to existing work and also adds value and focus onto other aspects of EquiMar.
Guidance was given for the assessment and predicted development of the marine energy supply chain. The present status was quantified and elements of supply chain weakness were identified. Potential break points and bottlenecks from related industries were detailed with aspirations that array developers can avoid or diffuse potential conflicts with competing sectors and minimise any potential disruption as the industry grows.
A further element of the pre-deployment actions was the guidance on the electrical connection and infrastructure associated with marine energy converter arrays. Grid codes have been addressed in addition to control strategies and a range of electrical configurations. A comparison of the technical merits of both AC and DC systems has been included. Finally the details of the electrical infrastructure at existing marine energy arrays and device test centers are presented.
The most challenging aspect of IIC has been the guidance upon the spatial arrangement of devices within an array. To date there are few precedents of measured interaction effects within marine energy array. Therefore a clear and concise approach was required that would provide a platform to allow future work to augment that of the EquiMar protocol. Guidance given was qualitative and where possible quantitative in nature. Based upon known physical principals of the manner in which wave and tidal energy converters operate it proved possible to provide solid guidance on the spatial configuration of devices within an array. From this work a logical development route for arrays also emerged. Direction was given to inform device developers how to acquire data from single devices and small arrays in order to best inform later generation installations. The guidance concerning the spatial layout of devices with arrays was deemed a success when it was well-received at a dissemination event and subsequent international conference part-way through the project. Initial plans for demonstrator arrays presented to date align well to the EquiMar guidance proving the approach developed was both valid and robust. There were also requests made by marine energy stakeholders from within and outside the EU to obtain the deliverable concerned. It is hoped that data acquired by the marine energy industry will aid the quantification of many of the effects and spatial constraints defined by this aspect of the EquiMar project. In this way part of EquiMar will be the catalyst for ongoing development of arrays.
The accurate definition of performance parameters will be of great importance for marine energy arrays. Existing parameters defined by the IEC were complimented by discussion and definition of new parameters within IIC that will quantify the operational performance of arrays. As part of this work a new method of array classification was described. The classification is semi-independent of individual device and whole array size. Instead it is based on the propensity for complex inter-device interactions and other operational difficulties to occur. Proposals and plans for early arrays published during the period of the EquiMar project demonstrated that simple arrangements will be favored in the short term until understanding and knowledge is sufficient that larger arrays are installed. Then, the probability of device interaction and/or operation complexity is certain to increase.
Guidance was given for the assessment and quantification of risk associated with marine energy arrays. The manner in which risk changes throughout an array and indeed with increasing time, scale and knowledge was also presented. Finally an overview of common risk assessment methods was given and routes to reduce risk associated with new and existing technologies employed in novel and existing areas was presented.
During the project a number of technical publications were presented at international conferences and published in academic journals to disseminate results from IIC. The request for deliverable documents and referencing of certain aspects of part IIC in advance of the final protocol publication was most encouraging.
From the outset part IIC of EquiMar focussed on giving guidance that was qualitative and where possible quantitative. Following feedback from marine energy stakeholders on the High Level Protocols (distributed half-way through the project) it was evident that IIC required a clear and unambiguous focus and that there was a duty not only to provide guidance based upon present knowledge but to provide a route along which the industry could progress, inform itself and grow. The fact that IIC has been well-received by stakeholders towards the end of the project demonstrates that it has the potential to become a seminal part of marine energy array development.
WP6 - Environmental Impact Assessment
The assessment of environmental impacts of ocean energy capture is a highly complex process, not only because of the medium where these projects are developed but also due to the variety of devices and the different ways in which they may interact with the surrounding environment. A further conflict exists by virtue of the fact that most Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) are designed to gain development consent rather than specifically to aid environmental protection. As data from initial deployments are collected and analysed, the findings will also benefit this industry by making it more attractive to investors and governments, who traditionally might have seen environmental concerns as a barrier. The objective of this work package within Equimar has been to work towards the development of a common framework to describe environmental impact assessment issues in order to produce a best practice Protocol. An additional important output has been to identify critical uncertainties regarding environmental effects of the installation, operation and decommissioning of wave and tidal devices and also to indicate the requirements for future research.
The work developed here consists of five tasks: discussion of common legislation baselines, scientific protocols, risks for large vertebrates and other critical uncertainties, life-cycle analysis approach and environmental analysis of existing and future scenarios.
A review of existing legislation for ocean energy environmental assessments has been carried out across the European Union, its Member States and other countries. Future European legislation has also been considered together with examples of legislation requirements for other technologies such as wind offshore. Legal requirements have been discussed and compared in order to identify gaps and suggestions for the development of future common baseline legislation on the environmental assessment of ocean energy schemes.
The main uncertainties regarding the potential effects of ocean energy schemes were reviewed and can be summarized in the following points (not ranked):
* Water circulation patterns
* Benthic habitats
* Artificial reef effects
* Water quality
* Noise disturbance
* Electromagnetic fields
* Species displacement
* Collision Risk for marine animals
* Socio-economic issues
Encounter models have been developed for estimating the risk of interaction between marine animals and tidal stream turbines. The model can be used as a tool during the assessment of environmental impacts. Further work on the likelihood of collision evasion behaviour by marine animals has resulted in models for estimating the probability of evasion by fish which indicate that a significant number of potential collisions can be evaded (Fig. 9).
The review of case studies and monitoring tools has been carried out to provide an overview of some of the most used approaches in the environmental assessment of wave and tidal energy projects regarding both baseline surveys and in situ device monitoring. The described tools were divided in analytical and predictive tools (e.g. modelling, GIS) and data collecting tools (e.g. telemetry, active sonar). Case studies were described and included: the environmental monitoring carried out in the EMEC test site (e.g. land based wild life observations, drifting acoustic methodology); baseline studies on sea mammals for welsh tidal sites (grey seal telemetry studies) and for Strangford Narrows under the SeaGen project (seal telemetry studies and passive acoustic monitoring of porpoise activity); studies of collision risk (near field evasion models and a field experiment on the propagation of sound, that could enable encounter avoidance, in a tidal stream).
Reviews and advice on obtaining realistic and comparable results for Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) have been carried out for marine energy technologies. It starts with a brief introduction to LCA and the ISO standards that regulate this process and then focuses on the different phases of the analysis. Wherever possible, in each of these phases, it shows data and examples from LCAs performed on marine energy technologies or other renewable technologies (especially wind). A list of LCA databases and tools are also presented at the end of the document.
Based on the information collected and described above, the EquiMar Protocol IB on Environmental Assessment has been developed and assumes roughly the same steps of an EIA process. In this work the ocean energy project's phases / steps considered as well as the timeline for the environmental concerns / assessment are presented in Fig. 10. The protocol:
* Discusses the role and timing of the application of Environmental Assessment tools
* Presents a range of potential key environmental effects of wave and tidal energy devices, the extent of which needs to be determined;
* Provides examples of methodologies and case studies for baseline and monitoring of the device deployment in situ, as well as a rationale for baseline characterization in the marine environment;
* Gives guidance on suitable tools to identify and evaluate environmental impacts;
* Discusses suitable impact mitigation and monitoring strategies that may be applied;
* Gives guidance / recommendation on best practices regarding the consultation process form and development.
WP7 - Economic Assessment of Large-Scale Wave Energy Deployment
The main objective of WP7 was to develop a framework for evaluating the long-term economic viability of marine energy technologies. This was to be completed by three sub-objectives:
* Review the main drivers of cost of electricity generated by marine energy farms.
* Develop methods for quantifying long-term cost-reduction of alternative generating technologies.
* Evaluate influence of technology selection and deployment scale on economic viability.
The main objective and all sub-objectives have been completed by preparation of "Protocol IIIA: Economic Assessment of a Marine Energy Project" and completion of nine reports. Throughout the EQUIMAR project, the focus of Work Package 7 has been to identify, and where possible, quantify factors that may affect the economic viability of marine energy projects when deployed at 'large-scale'. A project generating 100 MW average power output is considered as a representative 'large-scale' project. Significant findings from the main stages of work are summarised below.
Identification of cost drivers and cost changes:
A survey was initially conducted (D7.1.1) regarding the need for- and process for conducting- an economic assessment of a marine energy system. This included feedback from developers with offshore experience regarding appropriate methods of assessing economic viability and of the magnitude of cost changes associated with principal cost drivers. Cost of Electricity (COE) was identified as a useful parameter for technology comparison and Net Present Value (NPV) as an important parameter for assessing economic viability of a project. An explanation of the inputs to a Net Present Value calculation was given in D7.2.1 and an explanation of both a project assessment process and a market assessment process given in D7.2.2. At this stage, two high level protocols were developed for A: Project Assessment and B: Market Assessment and both were issued for review by WP8.
To understand how the economic viability of a technology may vary between individual projects, it is important to consider how the cost structure of a project can vary with scale of deployment. The design- and cost- of individual devices is beyond the scope of EQUIMAR and so this task focused on evaluation of the infrastructure associated with different types of marine energy device.
Evaluation of infrastructure options for large-scale deployment:
Alternative configurations of mooring systems for wave devices and support structures for tidal stream devices have been identified and their suitability for deployment in large-scale arrays considered (D7.3.2 and D7.3.2(b)). The study demonstrates that support structures presently proposed for demonstration tidal stream projects may not be suitable for deployments comprising large numbers of devices. Bed mounted structures to support closely spaced arrays of wave energy devices have been designed by Offshore Design Engineering Ltd. and cost estimates produced for procurement, manufacture and installation. This design study (D7.3.1) identifies the main cost drivers and provides an estimate of the unit cost of each component. The study shows that the costs associated with infrastructure will change considerably with scale of deployment. To understand how estimated costs may change from initial estimates, a review is given in D7.3.3 of the processes which have been observed to cause changes of infrastructure costs in other industry sectors. Identification of these processes reduces reliance on the widely used learning curve approach for estimating future costs of a technology.
Site Access Considerations
An important component of both capital cost and operating cost is associated with vessel use. Vessel rates are extremely variable and so this uncertain cost can have a large influence of project viability. Both the duration and frequency of occurrence of conditions suitable for offshore work have been estimated at a range of wave sites and a representative tidal stream site (D7.4.1-2). A statistical model was employed for each wave energy site and ten-years of time-varying sea-state data analysed for a tidal stream site. The findings of this study show that the waiting on weather time considered when estimating vessel costs must increase with the annual average power density of a wave site. At tidal stream sites, opportunities for offshore work are of short duration. These limited durations of calm conditions influence the rate of installation of large marine energy projects, the installation cost and the maintenance cost. The implications of site access limitations on rate of deployment of a tidal stream farm are quantified. This work demonstrates that vessel logistics are an important consideration for large-scale deployment and that high device (and component) reliability will be essential.
Performance limitations and extent of cost reduction
For any electricity generating technology, economic viability (based on e.g levelised cost of electricity or net present value) can only be improved through one of three mechanisms: decrease of either capital or operating costs or increase of revenue. Mechanisms for capital cost decrease are discussed in D7.3.3. In D7.5.1-2 the effect of site and technology selection on capital cost per MW installed and capital cost per device are considered. The approach taken is to employ the standard Net Present Value method to quantify the budget that is available for all expenditures that are not straightforward to quantify at present. Positive NPV is only obtained if the present value of all revenues is greater than the present value of all expenditures over the project life. Initially, project revenue is estimated based on site resource and device performance. Subsequently, the present value of each of the expenditures associated with the site and technology are subtracted to estimate the budget available for outstanding capital costs.
Several idealised devices are considered at eight different wave sites to quantify the number of devices in a project and hence estimate the capital cost per wave device that would result in a positive Net Present Value. The idealised devices considered are types of heaving point absorber. One of the device types is assumed to operate at the point absorber limit in all wave conditions that occur at each site. This limit is dictated by the resource not the device dimensions and so represents the maximum power output that could be achieved by a heaving device. Based on the number of devices required to generate 100 MW at several different sites, a capital cost is thus determined that would allow electricity to be generated at a target unit value of electricity.
Following feedback from review of the High Level Protocols, protocol IIIA (D7.6) was developed. This report is included in the EQUIMAR protocols of WP8. The objective of the project assessment protocol is to define a procedure that can be followed by a technology developer to obtain an economic assessment that is directly comparable to that produced by any other developer. The document is intended to be of use to someone who is familiar with assessing an investment but unfamiliar with assessment of a marine energy project. Application of the protocol to two projects would allow comparison of two different technologies at a site or of one technology at different sites. The user of economic assessments provided by several developers can therefore be confident that alternative project proposals are comparable.
Protocol IIIA comprises five sections: capital cost & operating cost drivers, revenue calculation, risk assessment and economic assessment. The main drivers of expenditure are identified and methods for calculating revenue briefly described. The importance of conducting an evaluation of the risk associated with the economic assessment is discussed and a method explained for identifying principal risks. Importantly the level of detail of the assessment will vary with the stage of technology development. At an early stage, quantitative measure of economic viability (e.g. cost of energy, net present value) will be subject to a high level of uncertainty. It is therefore essential to identify risk that can affect the outcome of the economic assessment. Mitigation of technical risks will occur with technology development, and a corresponding cost, thus providing higher confidence in quantitative measure. For nearly commercial technologies it is expected that all major risks will have been mitigated and there will be high confidence in quantitative measures of economic viability. At this stage, remaining risks should not change the outcome of the economic assessment. This procedure provides a framework for evaluating the economic viability of marine energy technologies at different sites and stages of development.
WP8 - Protocol Synthesis
The aim of WP8 was to bring together the outputs form the technical work packages to establish a set of protocols in key areas of marine renewable development, defined early in the project as: resource assessment, environmental assessment, tank testing, sea trials, array deployment, project assessment and market assessment. More specifically, the objective was the synthesis of existing knowledge and new research, in consultation with industry stakeholders, to provide documents that would provide guidance for a range of end-users from device developers and engineers to policy-makers and financiers. The five partners involved in WP 8 were also part of the other technical packages to ensure that there was a clear overview of how the internal work in each work package fed back into the appropriate protocol.
The first stage of the process was a review of the output from WP1 to assess the knowledge base in each protocol area (D8.1.1). Following this, a key concern was how to set about developing draft protocols at an early stage of the project when the majority of the work and deliverables in other work packages were yet to be completed.
The High Level Protocols
A new concept of a 'high level protocols' (HLPs) was introduced into the EquiMar work plan to resolve this. The aim of the HLPs was to provide an overview of the content of, and philosophy behind, each protocol area. The development of these documents provided a tool that was used both internally, as a reference point for each team developing the individual protocol, and externally, as a tool to engage stakeholders and elicit feedback. The initial HLP documents replaced the initial draft protocols as D8.1.2. Importantly the HLP became a prime method to establish the underpinning philosophy that should was applied in the development of the final detailed protocols.
Stakeholder engagement and consultation was a key activity of WP8. The first stage occurred at the midway point of the project, with the development of a questionnaire on the content utility and clarity of the HLP documents (D8.2). Questionnaires were distributed to 115 selected stakeholders covering the full industry spectrum, from device developers to researchers and policy-makers. Responses were received from 17 individuals, comprising 34 completed questionnaires covering all protocol areas. Although limited in number, the quality of the responses was high, in many cases providing detailed comments on the HLPs and suggested amendments for the full protocols. These responses were reviewed with the each work packages leader to update the HLP and then to feed into the production of the final protocol. The HLPs were updated and finalised in place of the draft protocols (D8.5). A result from this exercise was the removal of the protocol on market assessment as the general view was that at this stage such a document would not necessary and that emphasis should be placed on the Protocol III.A Economic Assessment. The response to the questionnaire was very positive, confirming that the project was on the right track and that the protocols would be a useful tool for industry.
A report on the responses was compiled and submitted as D8.3. The full list of protocols was finalised as:
I.A Resource Assessment
I.B Environmental Assessment
II.A Tank Testing
II.B Sea Trials
II.C Deployment and Performance Assessment of Multi-Megawatt Device Arrays
III.A Economic Assessment for a Marine Energy Project
Each work package then continued work on producing a final protocol document for their area, in consultation with members of WP8.
As part of the WP8 stakeholder engagement, to illicit specific responses to the development of the protocols and to publicise the work of EquiMar, an international workshop was held to present the proposed contents of the final protocols (D8.7). The workshop was held on 4th-5th October 2010 at BEC, Bilbao, immediately prior to ICOE 2010. A key element of the workshop was to communicate information on the protocols to an audience ranging from engineers and scientists to regulators and financiers. The workshop was run as two separate sessions. The first was aimed at regulators and policy-makers and focused on the environmental and economic assessment protocols. The second session focused on resource assessment and the engineering work packages and was aimed primarily aimed at device developers and scientists. The workshops were both well attended and well received. Feedback, provided via feedback sheets and discussions with participants, was positive and provided confidence in the content of the protocols as they entered the final stage of production. There was also significant individual discussion between work package collaborators and the workshop attendees (Fig 11 & 12).
The full protocols from each work package were submitted to WP8 in December 2009, and compiled into a final document along with the high level protocols and an introductory section providing the background to the work (D8.8). This was subsequently re-formatted for publication as a book, and a section on risk management added to the introduction. The book will be publicly available from the online publisher 'lulu.com' (linked to from Amazon.com) or in "pdf" format from the EquiMar and EU-OEA websites.
Published paper: "EQUIMAR: The Development of Protocols for the Equitable Evaluation of Marine Energy Systems" Proceedings of the ASME 28th International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering, OMAE2009, May 31 - June 5, 2009, Honolulu, Hawaii.
WP9 - Dissemination
Work package 9, which focused on dissemination and public engagement, was a key part of the project, as it aimed not only to increase the visibility of the project in the ocean energy sector and the general public, but also to promote the diffusion of the outcomes of the project after the 36th month, and the end of the project.
The project website was constructed on the domain www.equimar.org and acted as a portal for the project content, deliverables, digital media artefacts, and the protocols. It attracted extensive public interest with around 65% new visitors per month.
To complement internet dissemination, a YouTube channel was created for EquiMar, called EquiMarVid, and available at the following URL : www.youtube.com/equimarvid. 15 videos were uploaded to this channel, with some made specifically for the purpose project, 3 of which were filmed with ocean energy developers, environmental agencies and academic partners (table 2).
Additionally, the EquiMar wiki, hosted by the University of Edinburgh, listed all the deliverables and protocols stemming from the project, which were downloadable by the general public. The partners were also able to upload their draft deliverables on the wiki for internal use. Finally, the EquiMar deliverables were made available on the EU-OEA website, and the activities carried out within the project were published on it, and e-mailed to the EU-OEA network.
Three press articles were published in mainstream international magazines, describing EquiMar objectives and activities. These publications were the Energy and Technology Magazine's July 2009 issue, the BBC Wildlife September 2009 issue (picture left), and the Winter 2010 The Nature of Scotland issue. Importance was given to publishing in magazines focusing on environmental and nature issues on the one hand, and engineering and technical questions on the other, so as to increase the profile of ocean energy in the engineering and nature conservation commmunities.
Project co-ordinator Prof. David Ingram was a frequent commentator in the European press as well as a number of project partners, such as Mr. Cameron Johnstone from the University of Strathclyde, has been interviewed on BBC national and world services on EquiMar related topics.
Other activities carried out under this work package included engagement with the ocean energy community, which was done by participating in a number of existing ocean energy initiatives, such as the International Electrotechnical Commission's (IEC) Technical Committee 114 (TC 114), which works on standards for the ocean energy sector, the Co-ordinated Action for Ocean Energy (CA-OE), which was a project aiming to establish a knowledge base for a coherent development of an ocean energy policy in Europe, and the International Energy Agency's Implementing Agreement on Ocean Energy Systems (IEA-OES), which pursues similar objectives, of co-ordination, information exchange in order to promote the development of sustainable ocean energy technologies. Close work with these organisations helped ensure that awareness of the EquiMar activities was high within the community, as much as amongst the general public.
Partners in the work package and in the project as a whole participated in dissemination by presenting EquiMar-related papers at international events, such as the EU-OEA's Annual Ocean Energy Conference 2010, in Brussels ; ICOE 2010 in Bilbao ; or even the REC in Abu Dhabi in September 2010, amongst others. The exhibition that took place alongside the ICOE 2010 in Bilbao was a further occasion to promote the activities and preliminary results of the project, when an EquiMar banner was exhibited, and leaflets were distributed at the EU-OEA stand.
Finally, the protocols produced as a result of the project were presented and explained to a broad and diverse audience at a dissemination event organised in Brussels during the European Sustainable Energy Week 2011. This event was aimed at the general public, as much as ocean energy enthusiasts and stakeholders, and focused on explaining through practical examples and testimonies, how the EquiMar outputs could be useful to different stakeholders (developers, engineers, utilities, financiers, and so on).
Another event was organised in order to raise awareness of the EquiMar protocols amongst European Commission and government officials, as they were some of the key users of these protocols, which they should use when evaluating ocean energy projects. Indeed, the success of the project largely depends on the future use of its outputs by technology developers, as well as project financiers (governments and utilities, for example), and building upon these outputs.
It will be of the utmost importance for the EU-OEA to keep the outputs of the EquiMar project, especially the protocols, easily available, and widely used. In order to do so, the EU-OEA will direct potential users of the protocols to them, and put them in contact with EuquiMar project partners for more information. Furthermore, the final protocols will not only be available on the Association website (www.eu-oea.com) but also be available for order as printed-on-demand copies from the website Lulu.com and a limited amount of hardback books. The EU-OEA will also work to encourage the European Commission and its evaluators use the protocols when selecting projects, so as to keep them 'alive', and hopefully improve the quality and success of selected projects.
The main outcomes of this work package was to increase the profile of the ocean energy sector to the general public, and to ensure that the final EquiMar outputs would be used and keep being referenced after the end of the project. This is certainly an ongoing process, as the project will keep feeding into different other initiatives, and hopefully be used by financing bodies, consenting authorities, etc... well beyong the 3 years of the project. So far dissemination has been a success, as the good public response to the websites and YouTube channel suggests.
The work of the EquiMar project was intended to support the assessment of devices, in an equitable way, through a suite of protocols covering site selection, device engineering design, scaling up of designs, deployment of arrays of devices, environmental impact, in terms of both biological & coastal processes, and economic assessment. The primary aim of the project was to develop a suite of protocols through a robust, auditable process that not only reflects the best understanding of the consortium members but also, importantly, was open to comment and contribution from external bodies. The resulting book of protocols (Ingram et al 2011), which is available as a paperback from www.lulu.com is the main output of the project. Whilst the book presents the main results from the project it should be read in conjunction with the public deliverables from the project, these are available to be downloaded from either the project wiki https://www.wiki.ed.ac.uk/display/EquiMarwiki or the project website http://www.equimar.org/. Many of these reports are much more detailed than the information presented in the book. The protocols were developed by specifying best practice where possible, using current understanding and that coming from new but validated research within the project, to enable a clearer pathway for the development of marine energy (wave and tidal). The synthesis process has been based on the practices of an international Certifying Agency (Det Norske Veritas - DNV) it is intended that the protocols should provide guidance to developers, regulators and funders and be incorporated, where appropriate, into the development of international standards. DNV has been applying its expertise in marine design and certification, gained from the offshore oil and gas industry, to marine renewable energy for several years and has produced work relating to design, standards and reliability.
The EquiMar protocols allow
1. Different technologies to be treated in an open and fair manner, and
2. Matching of technologies to available sites.
Another important deliverable, also published through www.lulu.com is the Sea Trial Manual (Holmes et al 2011), which gives important guidance based on previous experience and best practice to technology developers and investors who wish to "go to sea" for the first time with their technology either as a small (circa 1/4 scale) model or as an initial demonstration project at full scale. The manual explores the difficulties inherent in moving from the controlled laboratory environment to the uncontrolled marine environment and provides a firm basis, and pathway to success, for demonstration projects.
In addition to the protocols the EquiMar book provides a detailed commentary on the importance of risk management in ocean energy projects and explores the use of Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs) as a mechanism for understanding changing risks through the technology development process. Identifying and managing risks requires a systematic approach leading to the understanding of the basic failures or activities leading to consequences and associated probability to occur.
However, with new technology, there is a wide range of distribution for the consequences and probability as the uncertainties are very high and there is limited or no previous information that can be referred to when defining the risks.
In this case, it is necessary to build the knowledge from early stages to gradually reduce the uncertainties leading to demonstrably reduced risks and, at the same time, confirmation or identification of other possible risks not previously identified.
The EquiMar Protocols contribute to risk management in the following ways:
1. Provision of a gradual process for harnessing knowledge through the different stages of technology development;
2. Provision of robust procedures and guidance that lead to an effective and demonstrable way to reduce risk;
3. Proposal of a clear and transparent means of reporting of the elements of risk.
Regardless of the nature of the risk, whether associated with the technology development of a marine energy device or arising from other aspects such as environmental impact and economic aspects, the protocols give detailed guidance on how the main analyses, tests, assessments and reports should be developed, which provides an important input to the management of risks.
Better visibility and uniform communication of risk (by providing a consistent framework for reporting of performance and uncertainties associated to the device at the different stages of development and deployment) is a key element in allowing an informed decision on what actions to take for developers and all stakeholders, including society. This will contribute to the development of the industry, and will help to identify appropriate courses of action in order for the technology to achieve full maturity.
In addition to the protocols the EquiMar project (working in conjunction with an award winning journalist) has produced 4 short video films aimed at improving the public understanding of the issues surrounding marine energy. In the films Lesley Riddoch explores Seals and Tidal Turbines, Harnessing Wave Energy, Servicing Tidal Turbines, and Tidal Power at Hammerfest Strom. These documentaries are available on the projects own you-tube channel http://www.youtube.com/user/EquimarVid and are accompanied by interviews with scientists and engineers from the project and short films of devices and experiments. In addition to the films, Lesley has also written two magazine articles about the project which have been published in popular magazines.
At a Societal level the sea plays a major role in the competitiveness, sustainability and security of energy supply, key objectives identified by the Commission and the EU Heads of State and Government.
Marine energy represents a vast source of renewable energy. If successfully exploited, it could contribute a substantial supply of electricity in many coastal areas of Europe. Results form the EquiMar project (i.e. harmonised testing methods and comparative assessment of marine energy converters) will contribute to accelerating the rate of technology deployment and to a continued reduction in technology costs that should lead to an acceptable electricity cost. The protocols developed for project costing and technology evaluation lead directly to strategies which may be employed to understand (and minimise) risk in ocean energy generation projects and these should increase investor confidence leading to accelerated deployment rates. These will in turn further support economic development and sustainable job creation in these maritime regions.
Renewable energy sources are more labour intensive than conventional energies, and this is an additional benefit for regions that currently depend on other traditional uses of the sea/ocean. At a time when certain traditional maritime professions are declining, marine energy is a new source of employment, which requires highly qualified staff and which, in addition, is regarded very positively by young people. It therefore offers new perspectives for industrial activities in harbour areas - suffering from decline in other sectors such as fisheries.
Also, European companies have developed know-how in marine technology, not only in the offshore exploitation of hydrocarbons, but also in renewable marine resources, deep-sea operation, oceanographic research, underwater vehicles and robots, maritime works and coastal engineering. These technologies will be increasingly used and will enhance the growth of the European marine technology sector, particularly in worldwide export markets.
DM Ingram, GH Smith, C Bittencourt-Ferriera, H Smith (2011) Protocols for the Equitable Assessment of Marine Energy Converters, The University of Edinburgh, ISBN 978-0-9508920-2-3, available from www.lulu.com
B Holmes, M Prado, T McCombes, JP Kofoed, F Neumann, C Retzler, C Bittencourt-Ferreira (2011) EquiMar: Sea Trial Manual, The University of Edinburgh, ISBN 978-0-9508920-4-7, available from www.lulu.com
List of Websites:
Grant agreement ID: 213380
15 April 2008
14 April 2011
€ 5 482 036,40
€ 3 990 024
THE UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH
Deliverables not available
Grant agreement ID: 213380
15 April 2008
14 April 2011
€ 5 482 036,40
€ 3 990 024
THE UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH
Grant agreement ID: 213380
15 April 2008
14 April 2011
€ 5 482 036,40
€ 3 990 024
THE UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH