Workshop yields MHK-sensor industry report

National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has published a report which examines contemporary instrumentation and sensor needs and challenges in relation to marine and hydrokinetic (MHK) industry.

The report stems from the recently held workshop at the Florida Atlantic University which was organized by NREl and US Energy Department’s Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO).

The workshop built upon the findings in measurement and modeling characteristics in MHK from the previous two workshops, with the last taking place in 2012 at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

The 2017 iteration brought together 37 experts in marine energy measurement, testing, and technology development to reevaluate baseline understanding of marine energy converter data-processing, instrumentation, and measurement capabilities, as well as to conduct gaps analysis and development of solution pathways for measurement and data-processing technology.

The findings from the workshop were synthesized by NREL and organized into four distinct topical areas, including information dissemination and data processing; standards, guidelines, and recommended practices; enhanced measurement capabilities; and new measurement and testing needs.

Among these topic areas, several consistent, crosscutting gaps and themes were identified in marine measurement capabilities, according to the WPTO.

“There was consensus among workshop attendees that open-source tools for unified data processing and analysis need advancement. MHK data processing and analysis is routinely conducted using project-specific, custom codes, resulting in duplicative efforts and inconsistent methods for evaluating and interpreting results,” the WPTO states.

Another theme was the need for a forum to share information, experience, and best practices.

In spite of the marine industry experiencing an upsurge in testing activities both in the field and in the lab during the past decade, it was found that information-sharing has seldom been a priority, the WPTO said.

While protecting intellectual property is a major concern within the industry, consideration must be given to leveraging experiences and lessons learned to encourage technology development and to prevent the repetition of mistakes, according to the WPTO.