ORE Catapult Sensing Potential in SMEs

The Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult will run a competition for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to gain access to its 7MW Levenmouth offshore wind demonstration turbine to prove and commercialise new sensing technologies.

In a programme co-funded with the Scottish Government, ORE Catapult is developing a digital Clone of the Levenmouth Offshore Wind Turbine (CLOWT), fitting sensors to its blades, tower and substructure to monitor its behaviour in real-world conditions.

In parallel, it will provide the opportunity to a number of emerging technology developers to demonstrate and validate their latest innovations alongside existing best-in-class products.

Entrants to the competition will be asked to propose sensor technology that can help with the monitoring of blades, drivetrains and foundations.

A lack of access to demonstration facilities has been identified as one of the major blockers to innovation and resulting cost reduction in offshore wind, according to ORE Catapult. It is believed that this will be the first time that SMEs have had such an opportunity to gain access to a next generation offshore wind turbine.

Scottish Government Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy, Paul Wheelhouse, said: “Recent rapid growth in offshore wind brings with it the need for the sector to rethink how large megawatt turbines behave and to target lower costs through better design. Supported by the Scottish Government, this project lets SMEs gain access to ORE Catapult’s Levenmouth demonstrator turbine, helping them to better understand the challenges of operating in an offshore wind environment, and drive forward further innovation in the sector.”

ORE Catapult will run a briefing workshop on the competition for SMEs to gain demonstration access to the 7MW Levenmouth Offshore Wind Demonstration Turbine on January 12, 2017.

Technologies should be at Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 5 or higher and should be non-intrusive to the operations of the turbine, or require any significant alteration of their device.

ORE Catapult Senior Partnership Manager, Cian Conroy, said: “The continued growth of the offshore wind industry is providing opportunities for companies from sectors as diverse as marine, oil and gas, aerospace and power generation. The challenges of operating in the hostile and complex offshore environment require innovative technology solutions, and through demonstration at Levenmouth we can help the very best to accelerate their development and route to market.”

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