MONITOR to improve tidal energy blade reliability

A new Interreg Atlantic Area project focused on investigating the forces acting on blades and structures of tidal energy converters (TECs) and their impact on reliability will be officially launched at the International Conference on Ocean Energy (ICOE) in June 2018.

The MONITOR project is led by Swansea University, and brings together the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC), the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, Magallanes Renovables S.L., Région Normandie, SABELLA S.A.S., Universidade do Algarve, Université Le Havre Normandie and University College Cork.

To kick start the project, the MONITOR consortium will host a Developer Forum from 13:00-15:00 on 13th June 2018, in the Custom Room, Centre des Congrès at ICOE, in Cherbourg, France.

The aim of the Forum is to introduce tidal energy developers and other interested stakeholders to the project, and receive feedback on specific concerns and priorities around reliability in the tidal energy industry to help shape the project methodologies.

The Forum will include updates from developers Magallanes Renovables and SABELLA, as well as discussion around computer, lab and in-sea modelling and the impact of Variation Mode and Effect Analysis (VMEA) methodology.

Picture credit:Sabella

MONITOR aims to reduce the risk of failure of tidal energy technologies, and enhance their reliability, resulting in increased investment in the marine energy industry by both the public and private sectors. By engaging with the industry from the beginning of the project, MONITOR will ensure that its work is relevant and responsive to real, practicable reliability concerns.

The MONITOR project will run until 2021 and the findings will be disseminated at a variety of workshops to developers and the wider industry.

Michael Togneri, Swansea University, lead partner in the project explains:

“Europe’s Atlantic coast is one of the most promising regions of the world for the growth of tidal stream energy.  However, while the industry is rapidly gaining experience in the deployment of individual turbines and pilot farms, scarcity of available data on device reliability limits investor confidence and makes attracting investment more expensive.

“As part of the MONITOR project a wide range of methods will be investigated including simulations, laboratory test, and testing at sea, with the aim to develop a monitoring system that can be applied to any tidal turbine.  This will ultimately de-risk development, improve reliability and lower energy costs.

“To ensure the project reaches its potential we’re keen to work closely with the industry.” 

MONITOR has been funded through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), as part of the Interreg Atlantic Area programme.