Photo: Illustration (Photo: Naval Energies)

Second-gen design tools to shape up commercial ocean energy

Illustration (Photo: Naval Energies)

 
An ambitious new project dubbed DTOceanPlus, whose aim is to accelerate the commercialization of marine energy sector by developing an open source suite of design tools for ocean energy systems, has been set up with the EU blessing.

DTOceanPlus will develop and demonstrate a suite of second generation advanced design tools for the selection, development and deployment of ocean energy systems, including sub-systems, energy capture devices and arrays.

The three-year project, set to last until the end of April 2021 with the budget of €8 million, will align ocean energy innovation and development processes with those used in mature engineering sectors, according to project coordinator Tecnalia.

The integrated tools to be developed in the project will be demonstrated in the setting of real world technology deployment projects, with access to these projects being provided by the project’s industrial and commercial partners.

The project will create a set of digital models which will also provide a common language for the entire ocean energy sector, Tecnalia said.

Aside from Tecnalia, the DTOceanPlus consortium – formed to bring together representatives of all key user and stakeholder groups and developers of Europe’s ocean energy sub-systems, devices and arrays – also includes University of Edinburgh, Energy Systems Catapult, Nova Innovation, Naval Energies, Wave Energy Scotland, with international partners Sandia National Laboratories and National Renewable Energy Laboratory, among others.

The international collaboration is being developed to avoid duplication, ensure replication and gain global acceptability of the design tools, Tecnalia noted.

Reducing technological and financial risks and improving cost effectiveness of ocean energy technologies

Users of the DTOceanPlus suite of tools will be able to generate optimized designs for innovative ocean energy technologies and deployments.

The designs will be optimized for a wide variety of key metrics including lifetime costs, reliability, availability, maintainability, survivability, performance, environmental impact and socio-economic impact, according to Tecnalia.

Designs generated using DTOceanPlus will also balance technological and financial risk which, in combination with greatly improved cost effectiveness, ensure that ocean energy technologies become significantly more commercially attractive, Tecnalia said.

Within 5 years of completing the project, it is expected that the results will contribute to achieving a significant increase in the number of ocean energy technologies successfully brought to market, improvement in performance uncertainty that will contribute to achieving up to 6% and 8% reduction in Levelized Cost of Energy (LCoE) for wave and tidal respectively.

Also expected are significant reductions in installation, as well as operating and maintenance (O&M) costs.

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