Spain floats out marine lab to fight fouling and corrosion

The launch of HarshLab 1.0 prototype (Photo: EVE)

The BiMEP center, an open-sea test area located off the Spanish north coast, has welcomed the prototype HarshLab laboratory that will be used for the validation of components used for offshore energy systems in a hostile environment.

Developed by the technology research center Tecnalia, with the governmental as well as industry support coordinated by the Basque Energy Cluster – the floating HarshLab is expected to deliver data to more accurately predict the behavior of materials, components and equipment submerged in hostile environments.

The launch of HarshLab 1.0 prototype (Photo: EVE)

The information will be used for the development of offshore energy systems with a high degree of survival, which in turn are expected to lead to cost reductions – contributing to competitiveness and sustainability of offshore energy.

The facility allows testing of new materials and solutions against corrosion, aging, or fouling – all conducted under real conditions monitored in-situ, according to the Basque Energy Agency (EVE).

Although the laboratory was originally designed to advance development of offshore energies, other sectors, such as naval and fishing, could also make use of the HarshLab infrastructure, according to EVE, which added the center will also be able to facilitate the training of professionals working in offshore environments.

The HarshLab deployed at the Biscay Marine Energy Platform (BiMEP) is a first prototype of a larger and more complex laboratory, which is under development and whose launch is planned in 2019.

The HarshLab 2.0 – in addition to the current capabilities of the first prototype – will allow experimentation and validation of more complex and heavy equipment that requires electrical power, EVE said.