Welcome to the Supergen ORE Hub Research Landscape. This interactive web tool allows you to explore the latest information, research and technical challenges across the offshore wind, wave and tidal energy sectors. With information drawn from across academia, industry and policy makers, the tool is intended to provide an open and easily accessible data source of current research within offshore renewable energy which can be used by a range of stakeholders.

landscape
float rotars float rotars float rotars float rotars tidsl rotars tidal rotars tidal rotars wave-bouy boat fish cloud cloud
satellite satellite satellite satellite satellite satellite satellite
H4 H3 H2 H1 G3 G2 G1 F4 F3 F2 F1 E6 E5 E4 E3 E2 E1 D4 D3 D2 D1 C5 C4 C3 A4 C2 C1 B5 B4 B3 B1 B2 A2 A1 A3

Select a research theme below to highlight current research challenges on the virtual landscape, then select a number to discover more information about current research challenges within each theme.

Themes

  • A Resource and Environment Characterisation
  • B Fluid-structure Seabed Interaction
  • C Materials and Manufacturing
  • D Sensing, Control and Electromechanics
  • E Survivability, Reliability and Design
  • F Operations, Management, Maintenance and Safety
  • G Environmental And Ecosystem Aspects
  • H Marine Planning and Governance

The Supergen ORE Hub is part of the wider Supergen Programme funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

Hide panel
H4

Reducing uncertainty of both technology and social costs of ORE

Challenges/Opportunities

There is no agreed process to evaluate the whole-system benefits of offshore renewable energy, including technology and social costs and benefits. Nor is it established how to identify and qualify/quantify the well-being from employment, identity and cultural aspects of future ORE industries

Solution

Analysis through the development of a whole-systems model to facilitate both economic and socioeconomic benefits of ORE. Development of methods to assess and communicate the range of social benefits and well-being from future large scale ORE developments

Summary

The lack of a standardised and validated approach to marine planning for ORE developments is holding back the development of the ORE sector and establishing such an approach is necessary to allow policymakers and investors to make informed decisions on the funding of the ORE sector.

Context And Need

Need: There is a need to understand and qualify/quantify the benefits of ORE beyond low carbon electricity by analysing salient factors and valuation of a range of social benefits information on socia...[read more]

Impact Potential

A standardised and validated approach to ORE marine planning would facilitate deployment, which would enable learning-by-doing, which would in turn reduce CAPEX from economies of scale and OPEX from o...[read more]

Research Status

Individual models currently exist but a standard, whole-system approach is required. There are expert groups, frameworks and models around the world as well as in UK 1) UKERC Societal Preferences, Affordability & Trust 2) The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Workshop 3) WWF Well...[read more]
H3

Development of market mechanisms for ORE

Challenges/Opportunities

Fit-for-purpose market mechanisms do not as yet exist for the UK domestic ORE market, particularly for marine renewable energy

Solution

Development and analysis of potential policy frameworks to support ORE technology commercialisation.

Summary

Fit-for-purpose market mechanisms are needed for the UK domestic ORE market, with appropriate measures reflecting requirements for technology sectors at different stages of development, particularly for marine renewable energy. Development and analysis of potential policy frameworks to support ORE technology commercialisation will allow rational mechanisms to be established.

Context And Need

Need: There is a need for fit-for-purpose market mechanisms for the UK domestic ORE market that reflects the requirements of different technology sectors within ORE: offshore wind, wave and tidal ener...[read more]

Impact Potential

A market mechanism would facilitate deployment, which would enable learning-by-doing, which would in turn reduce CAPEX from economies of scale and OPEX from operational experience....[read more]

Research Status

While substantial work has gone into LCOE modelling, until now there has been limited investment into quantifying the Return on Investment (ROI) of market mechanisms.____________________________________________________________________________________________ We would also like to invite UK researche...[read more]
H2

Interaction with other marine users

Challenges/Opportunities

Need to reduce potential for conflict with other marine sectors.

Solution

Use of Marine Spatial Planning framework

Summary

ORE operates in the marine environment alongside other users and there is potentially a conflict for resource, marine space and infrastructure. Better understanding of the requirements, and of complementary and competing users will be necessary for rational spatial planning.

Context And Need

Need: There is a need to reduce potential for conflict with other marine sectors. Exploring technology / skills synergies across all renewables and engaging with the oil & gas industries. Also e...[read more]

Impact Potential

The potential impact of reducing the non-technical barriers to ORE development are to lower costs of CAPEX and OPEX in ORE significantly and to accelerate the development of the ORE industry, in harmo...[read more]

Research Status

Marine spatial planning is now operational at governance level via the Marine Plan and Marine (Scotland) Plan. 1) INSITE Programme: Influence of man-made Structures www.insitenorthsea.org 2) Maritime Alliance for fostering the European Blue Economy through a Marine Technology Skilling Strategy (M...[read more]
H1

Communication: Ocean literacy and public perception of ORE

Challenges/Opportunities

The wider public is not well informed about offshore energy and in particular the concept of whole-systems approaches.

Solution

Supergen communication and engagement strategy; creation of material, events, blogs, Supergen ORE website; alignment of wider research base for promotion through Supergen.

Summary

The Supergen ORE Hub???s leadership role includes connecting those active in the sector and communicating ORE issues to a range of user groups, including politicians and public, education and to improve understanding via use of public engagement. Better public understanding of ORE and whole-systems approaches, ocean literacy and ecological interactions, will impact on public perception and the granting of Social License.

Context And Need

Need: There is a clear need for greater understanding of offshore renewable energy, what is meant by offshore wind, wave and tidal energy, and of the whole systems approach. Better understanding of OR...[read more]

Impact Potential

Media, Teaching and workshop material could be used globally to lead to acceptability as well as means to relay the current critical issues....[read more]

Research Status

There are lots of ideas/techniques currently being examined: 1) Frontiers for Young Minds (kids.frontiersin.org) 2) www.BritishEcologicalSociety.org Policy Network 3) UKERC http://www.ukerc.ac.uk/ 4) POST - Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology https://www.parliament.uk/postAlso Offshore ...[read more]
G3

Ecosystem Modelling

Challenges/Opportunities

In order to understand the long term impact of Offshore Renewable Energy developments in the marine environment, we need to be able to make predictions of the cumulative effects of very large scale and multiple ORE developments throughout marine ecosystems.

Solution

An ecosystem modelling framework is needed to assess the ecological limits (carrying capacity) of marine systems, which can be used within a Marine Spatial Planning framework.

Summary

The prediction of cumulative and interaction of multiple effects is needed in order to understand the long term impact of ORE developments on the marine environment and to inform marine planning. It will allow better future prediction or range of environmental impacts from physical changes up through food chain, including far-field and cumulative effects, and their impact on ecological limits and ecological carrying capacity, and put into context of climate change. Improved ecosystem modelling tools will enable environmental change prediction to be expressed as different ???currencies??? (i.e. Carbon, economic via natural capital/ecosystem services, social capital).

Context And Need

Need: It is necessary to have an agreed approach to cumulative effects of very large scale (multi arrays of devices and across different types of offshore renewable energy), and to develop effective e...[read more]

Impact Potential

Improved ecosystem modelling will enable better prediction of cumulative and long term interactions of ORE with the marine environment and will lead to lower costs of both CAPEX and OPEX significantly...[read more]

UK capacity to benefit

UK has some of the leading world experts in ecosystem models that include natural capital, ecosystem services and carbon modelling studies at the moment. A new agreed framework that add to traditional...[read more]

Research Status

There is a large NERC Programme: (MERP) http://www.marine-ecosystems.org.uk/Home that has recently finished and has produced a range of new ecosystem modelling approaches and methods for use of ensembles of model types. The EcoWatt2050 project produced methods that can incorporate the physical chang...[read more]
G2

Development of population level environmental impact models

Challenges/Opportunities

There are currently no standard analytical methods to predict population level environmental impacts and deal with priority issues of marine animal and bird collision risk, displacement and disturbance.

Solution

Development of data collection, analysis and modelling techniques that include uncertainty estimates for marine animals and birds from individual up to population level. This will enable scientist to resolve environmental impact uncertainties, such as collision risk, displacement and disturbance for individual to population levels.

Summary

ORE projects may be prevented or held back by the lack of confidence of their effect on the marine environment. The current models do not predict the impact on individuals and on population levels with good certainty and so development of these models and the data collection and analysis methods behind them would enable more confident prediction of the impact on marine animals and birds.

This would enable the impact of ORE projects to be better understood and potentially lead to cost reduction in environmental monitoring and faster project consenting.

Context And Need

Need: The lack of certainty in marine animal and bird population level environmental effects has high potential to be a barrier to the development of offshore renewable energy developments, eg. Firth...[read more]

Impact Potential

The impact of improved models for population level environmental impact on marine animals and birds will help to remove a barrier from the development and acceleration of the ORE sector and will help ...[read more]

Research Status

On-going research with lots of priority lists being created /updated, but little funding to proceed beyond current level of knowledge 1) ORJIPs (Both OE and Wind) http://www.orjip.org.uk/ with the current Forward look for Tidal/wave 2) MSS ScotMER and the MMO Strateg...[read more]
G1

Fit-for-purpose approaches to environmental monitoring

Challenges/Opportunities

ORE Industries have recognised that current environmental impact assessment EIA/HRA/Post-consent guidelines for environmental monitoring are not fit for purpose and may be costing more than necessary or not providing information needed with confidence.

Solution

Better framework for collection of data and an assessment approach for environmental impacts.

Summary

Environmental monitoring is a high cost aspect of ORE project development and is needed during both environmental impact assessment and post consent. However, there is generally low confidence in the predictions of cumulative and population level environmental impacts. Better understanding of the models and the data needed for use in them will enable the development of a framework for monitoring data collection with environmental impact assessment and post consent guidelines.

Context And Need

Need: Environmental (EIA/HRA) data collection can be a significant CAPEX cost and post-consent data collection can be a significant OPEX cost. Breakthrough: An agreed standard framework is needed f...[read more]

Impact Potential

The development of approaches to environmental monitoring that are fit for purpose will potentially lower costs of CAPEX and OPEX in ORE significantly. There is an opportunity to create new UK experti...[read more]

Research Status

Recognised by many researchers, developers (Royal HaskoningDHV) and regulators (MSS, MMO) that have been dealing with consent issues that changes are needed in policy for SEA, EIA/HRA and post-consent data collection, sharing of data products. The INSITE programme is helping to set up a roadmap to l...[read more]
F4

Increased use of automation to reduce risk in installation and operation (O&M)

Challenges/Opportunities

Human activity is a governing hazard in the offshore environment, need for reduced human risk exposure in offshore operations.

Solution

Increased use of automation to reduce human risk exposure in ORE installation and in operation and maintenance (O&M).

Summary

In order to reduce the risk to human life in servicing O&M requirements of ORE structures, redundant systems to reduce time off for maintenance and human intervention may be considered. This may be achieved through increasing system reliabilities by increasing component redundancies, however this is a design trade-off with cost. Evaluating and specifying the ideal trade-off point between system reliability and lifecycle cost is needed, as well as better understanding of O&M uncertainties and the adoption of risk-based approaches to minimise risk in ORE O&M.

Context And Need

Need: The increased number and maintenance needs for offshore assets, makes human interventions one of the main hazards in the ORE sector and should be avoided where possible/feasible. The targeted u...[read more]

Impact Potential

The main impact is to reduce human hazard exposure in the offshore environment, this will also lead to reduction in CAPEX and OPEX in ORE. A balanced and measured increase of reliability has the po...[read more]

Research Status

Automation of routine operations is implemented, e.g. Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) data; one off (installation) operations require significant human intervention. Some research to automate processes in offshore wind installations/sub-systems ongoing. Some evidence of implement...[read more]
F3

Data and digital cyber security

Challenges/Opportunities

ORE assets provide an Increasing amount of data and heightened sensitivity, causing challenges regarding data security. ORE farms are critical assets that if compromised would disrupt the energy supply.

Solution

Better understanding of the risks and mitigation measures leading to established and applied best practice and processes for data and cyber security in ORE assets.

Summary

ORE farms are critical assets that provide an Increasing amount of data and heightened sensitivity that require consideration of cybersecurity. Cybersecurity is an established area, but requires implementation for ORE.

Opportunity for the UK to lead the development on data and cyber security protocols for ORE usage.

Context And Need

Need: There is a need for improving the awareness, protocols and tools for ORE digital cyber security. Breakthrough: better understanding of data risks and mitigation in the ORE environment and trans...[read more]

Impact Potential

Increased data security, and hence increased security of ORE critical assets. Potential to unlock ???big data potentials???....[read more]

Research Status

Established UK research portfolio, but not focused on ORE applications yet. Reported cases of Cyber Security breaches and incidents, with a prominent case in the tidal sector.Also Offshore Wind Innovation Hub - O&M and Windfarm Lifecycle innovation priorities ___________________________________...[read more]
F2

Use of autonomous systems for inspection

Challenges/Opportunities

The use of autonomous systems for remote sensing and condition monitoring, together with AI and machine learning with remote resets and repairs present opportunities for advanced asset monitoring and management for ORE. This could potentially lower OPEX cost, whilst increasing availabilities of ORE farms and individual energy converters. Regulations and legislation of UAV systems are not yet developed, but are needed as autonomous systems are expected to be increasingly used for inspection and maintenance.

Solution

Clear regulation and legislation for UAV operations within offshore assets

Summary

Remote sensing and the use of autonomous vessels and robotics for inspection of ORE machines, e.g. turbine and structure, and for environmental monitoring is expected to become increasingly commonplace. There are technical challenges in developing systems and there is also the need to develop clear regulation and legislation for UAV operations within offshore assets.

Context And Need

Need: Innovations are required to reduce the risk and cost of offshore interventions Breakthrough: A legal framework required is to form common ground for operators, asset owners, marine agencies an...[read more]

Impact Potential

Autonomous operations and interventions have the potential to reduce the risk to offshore personnel, i.e. reduced OPEX, and H&S risk. Reduction of legal uncertainty for AUV applications in the UK...[read more]

Research Status

Emerging area of autonomous vessels/robotics, prototype and trial status for ORE. The UK is amongst the leading countries in this field, e.g. UKRI ISCF initiative. No dedicated legislation, some guidelines available, e.g. Maritime UK Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships UK Code of Practice (Voluntary ...[read more]
F1

Analysis of remote sensing and condition monitoring data

Challenges/Opportunities

As the use of remote sensing and remote condition monitoring through digital twin technology becomes more commonplace, improved techniques for analysis of the data using AI and machine learning will be needed.

Solution

New analysis tools are needed to be developed, demonstrated and benchmarked for analysis of the data generated from remote sensing and remote monitoring using autonomous systems.

Summary

To minimise offshore operations and inform O&M strategies, remote sensing and remote condition monitoring through digital twin technology are important developments that have the potential to enable remote resets and repairs and significantly reduce the cost of O&M offshore. Improved analysis tools and treatment of big data generated by remote sensing, proven by smarter benchmarking will be needed to unlock the potential for use of AI and machine learning and present opportunities for advanced asset monitoring and management, potentially lowering OPEX cost, whilst increasing availabilities.

Context And Need

Effective and efficient prognostic condition monitoring techniques are needed in order to utilise the state of the art computational capability in its full breadth for the ORE sector. The size and qu...[read more]

Impact Potential

These techniques have the potential to reduce OPEX whilst maintaining acceptable safety levels Reduced OpEx (short-term); reduced CapEX (long-term) If O&M uncertainties can be reduced the overa...[read more]

Research Status

Digital twins used in other industries AI/Machine learning established in computational science, but emerging as offshore application Isolated initiatives to collect and generate benchmark data, e.g. ORE Catapult SPARTA project for reliability Several O&M models in use, many are deterministic ...[read more]
E6

Whole systems approaches to operate large scale ORE

Challenges/Opportunities

As offshore wind becomes a larger fraction of the grid supply, without better integration of supply, storage and the grid, the supply will be vulnerable to the availability of wind.

Solution

A systems level approach between farms and integration with storage is needed to maintain grid supply. Better integration of wind farms, storage and the grid is needed, and the grid integration of ORE farms focusing on system stability and the impact of distributed energy storage is needed.

Summary

Targets are moving towards being defined in terms of energy - also very large scale envisaged (??? 50MV) A systems level approach to supply, storage and grid integration is needed for optimal utilisation of offshore assets. The Government are starting to set energy targets and reducing the economic viability opens the potential for device deployment in UK, South America etc. The limit of Economic Viability of Devices should be investigated to enable design to lower (for instance) the velocity of flow whilst achieving economic viability.

Context And Need

Governments are setting high energy targets (e.g. Scottish Government 50% of energy from renewables by 2030!) Energy demand to increase substantially in future, e.g. meet demand for transport and heat...[read more]

Impact Potential

Without meeting this challenge there will be upward pressure on cost of energy and downward pressure on scale of development. Improved grid resilience, reduced grid maintenance and operation costs,...[read more]

Research Status

Early Stage Research: Existing projects ??? IRPWIND, MAXFARM (MAXimizing wind Farm Aerodynamic Resource via advanced Modelling)Current activity includes EPSRC project FENGBO-WIND - Farming the ENvironment into the Grid: Big data in Offshore WindOffshore Wind Innovation Hub - Turbines innovation prio...[read more]
E5

Design tools for arrays

Challenges/Opportunities

There is insufficient confidence in prediction of energy yield from arrays of new technologies to underpin investment Current models cannot efficiently achieve array optimisation of ORE systems.

Solution

Computationally tractable techniques for system or component design accounting for flow-modification by other devices and arrays Models need to be developed for effective analysis and optimisation of ORE arrays.

Summary

Efficient numerical models need to developed for array optimisation or ORE systems, which include: optimal control; understanding device conditions; hydrodynamic interaction; uncertainty quantification, yield optimisation; blocking and efficient arrays in real channels; mooring or power take off sharing. Better understanding of the hydrodynamics of array interaction, layout performance and design, including moorings and anchors is needed through physical wave tank tests and numerical modelling.

Context And Need

Reducing the costs in installation, operation, maintenance meanwhile improving the energy yield can improve confidence in project financial projections. This can be achieved by developing single ORE s...[read more]

Impact Potential

Essential: to predict array performance to establish designs required for array deployments and hence CAPEX to establish the potential market size for alternative ORE types and hence scope for learni...[read more]

Research Status

Research includes: 1) The Performance Assessment of Wave and Tidal Array Systems (PerAWaT) project 2) EPSRC - Dynamic Loadings on Turbines in a Tidal Array (DyLoTTA), FloWTurb: Response of Tidal Energy Converters to Combined Tidal Flow, Waves, and Turbulence, EcoWATT 3) NERC - Flow & Benthic Eco...[read more]
E4

Sustainable whole-life design methods

Challenges/Opportunities

Offshore renewable energy systems are designed without a planned use when life expired, which reduces sustainability.

Solution

Develop new concepts, components, design and processes, that unlock whole life designs which extend new and existing facilities into recycling, reuse, repair, decommissioning and/or repowering.

Summary

Develop new component technologies, system design concepts and processes, that unlock whole life design improvements that extend into recycling, reuse, repair, decommissioning and/or repower.

Context And Need

Offshore renewable energy systems have a limited operating life, consume significant raw materials and involve placing significant infrastructure in the oceans. Currently, designs are not influenced b...[read more]

Impact Potential

Reduced whole life cost ??? economic and environmental. Higher social acceptance ??? contrast with oil and gas experiences. ...[read more]

Research Status

Offshore Wind Innovation Hub - Turbines innovation priorities ____________________________________________________________________________________________ We would also like to invite UK researchers and industry stakeholders within ORE to submit links to research papers and projects, both past and p...[read more]
E3

Innovative sub-systems to provide higher and more consistent reliability and better performance.

Challenges/Opportunities

Offshore renewable energy systems require maintenance and repair which is challenging in the ocean environment.

Solution

Innovative improvements in sub-systems that raise reliability and performance will reduce maintenance and repair requirements.

Summary

Develop new component solutions with innovative, materials, designs, operating principles to plug gaps in system reliability and to extend or expand device performance.

Context And Need

All offshore renewable energy systems involves complex equipment in a harsh and inaccessible environment. Offshore wind turbines require frequent visits for scheduled and unscheduled maintenance. Tida...[read more]

Impact Potential

New sub-systems that have higher performance and better reliability will reduce the maintenance costs of all types of offshore renewable energy system. This will contribute to continued cost reduction...[read more]

Research Status

Offshore Wind Innovation Hub - Turbines innovation priorities ____________________________________________________________________________________________ We would also like to invite UK researchers and industry stakeholders within ORE to submit links to research papers and projects, both past and p...[read more]
E2

Extending limits to operation or performance by mitigating extreme actions

Challenges/Opportunities

High loads can occur due to dynamic response and interaction of response modes that limit system design.

Solution

Identification *and mitigation* of extreme loads and aggregated actions at system and component level.

Summary

Establish and extend operational limits or performance by better identifying and mitigating extreme loads and aggregated actions vs. operation behaviour at system and component level. Including interaction between environment and system control parameters and to extend operational limits of devices extending turbine size limits and fatigue life, understanding localised environment conditions to inform aggregated effects (e.g. on fatigue); modelling/prediction of extreme/???strange??? environmental loads.

Context And Need

A key cost reduction mechanism is the increase of the size of the power generating element of the ORE system, e.g. the turbine size or rated power of a wave device. As these parameters increase, stres...[read more]

Impact Potential

Increased reliability and reduced OPEX of existing designs New designs with lower CAPEX per MW and / or increased performance...[read more]

Research Status

Current EU and NREL projects on large wind turbines EPSRC ??? aspects of some projects, although not a core aspect. Offshore Wind Innovation Hub - Turbines innovation priorities____________________________________________________________________________________________ We would also like to invite ...[read more]
E1

Higher and more consistent reliability through risk-based design

Challenges/Opportunities

Existing design methods can limit scope for innovation and cost reduction, particularly for arrays of devices.

Solution

Rational, whole-life models coupling resource to device/structure loading and response accounting for control and interaction with station-keeping infrastructure.

Summary

Establish risk-based and/or probabilistic design approaches that span resource, device, control strategy and array. Develop rational, coupled whole-life models for resource - device/structure (and control) - foundation interaction to allow consistent target reliability. Unpack existing practices inherited from oil and gas, to remove conservatism, and counter current issues of low survivability of some trial systems

Context And Need

Many of the methods employed for design of offshore renewable energy systems are inherited, with some modification, from the oil and gas sector. Employing these methods can constrain design of offshor...[read more]

Impact Potential

Potential for significant: reduction of CAPEX and OPEX increased reliability improved survivability (or equivalent for reduced expenditure) reduced risk to offshore operations and negative environmen...[read more]

Research Status

Forms part of several active projects.Offshore Wind Innovation Hub - Substructures innovation priorities____________________________________________________________________________________________ We would also like to invite UK researchers and industry stakeholders within ORE to submit links to res...[read more]
D4

Power Electronic Conversion

Challenges/Opportunities

Power electronics converters are key for all ORE technology and a major challenge for all converters is to improve their reliability.

Solution

Improved control systems and analysis of the power electronic converter will improve reliability and the performance of the drivetrain and grid interface.

Summary

Power electronics conversion is important for all types of ORE technology and the power electronics needs to have better reliability and improved control systems in order to enhance performance and grid integration. The impact of improved power electronic control reliability will be to reduce operating costs and improve utilisation of ORE.

Context And Need

Power electronics converters are the key enabling technology for renewable energy utilization. They play an increasingly important role in power system stability and reliability, in particular with th...[read more]

Impact Potential

Control of the power electronic converter can enhance the performance of the drivetrain and grid interface. Performance during faults is important. A major challenge is to improve reliability ??? impa...[read more]

Research Status

Existing projects are currently being undertaken in: Wind - Sheffield University, University of Edinburgh, Warwick University, University of Manchester, University of Strathclyde Wave - Newcastle University, University of Edinburgh Tidal - University of Edinburgh, University of Strathclyde Offsho...[read more]
D3

Drive train design

Challenges/Opportunities

Improved drive trains are required to accommodate a large dynamic range, with increased lifetime and reduced CAPEX and OPEX.

Solution

Conception, design and validation of novel drive trains for ORE devices including hydraulic drives and direct drive generators.

Summary

Conception, design and validation of novel drive trains for ORE devices including hydraulic drives, direct drive generators and devices to couple multiple prime movers into single generators. Designs should aim to provide a large dynamic range, with increased lifetime and reduced CAPEX and OPEX.

Context And Need

Drive trains and generators are required to meet two competing requirements: to operate efficiently over a wide range of input conditions but also have sufficient resilience (thus low maintenance requ...[read more]

Impact Potential

To reduce LCoE, particularly for wave and tidal energy, lower cost drive trains and generators which combine efficiency and robustness are required. To allow scaling up of wind requires drive trains a...[read more]

Research Status

1) Novel direct drive generators included within New Partnership in Offshore Wind EP/R004900/1, 2017-2022, https://npow.group.shef.ac.uk/ 2) Hydrostatic transmission wind turbines are studied in Passive vibration control of a floating hydrostatic transmission wind turbine and theoretical extensions...[read more]
D2

Smart sensor system use

Challenges/Opportunities

Improved control and operations requires better use of sensor systems to measure of behaviour of individual ORE devices and arrays and the environments in which they operate.

Solution

Identify, evaluate and validate sensor technologies, data transmission, integration and interpretation systems to support improved control and management.

Summary

Smart sensors may be embedded within structures and ORE machines, or may be developed as part of autonomous monitoring systems. In order to develop sensors fit for purpose in the offshore ORE environment, there is a need to identify, evaluate and validate sensor technology, data transmission, integration and interpretation systems to support control and planning of operations and maintenance. This includes both sensing applied to individual ORE devices, arrays of devices and the environments in which they operate.

Context And Need

Although ORE devices, particularly wind turbines, have a large number of sensors measuring individual device performance, the measurements are typically not treated in an integrated manner to allow ri...[read more]

Impact Potential

Improved understanding of ORE device behaviour, along with the environmental drivers (wind, waves and tides) can help reduce LCoE through improved energy yield, improved prediction of remaining lifeti...[read more]

Research Status

Current activity includes EPSRC funded projects: New Partnership in Offshore Wind EP/R004900/1, 2017-2022, https://npow.group.shef.ac.uk/ Structural Health Monitoring of Systems of Systems: Populations, Networks and Communities, EP/R003645/1, 2018-2021, https://gow.epsrc.ukri.org/NGBOViewGrant.as...[read more]
D1

Control of ORE farms

Challenges/Opportunities

It is difficult to simultaneously maximize power generation, reduce fatigue load and minimize environment impact in complex ORE systems.

Solution

Develop and validate control technology for ORE farms to balance competing requirements.

Summary

There are research challenges in the development of control technologies in order to optimise the performance of ORE systems under varying operating and survivability conditions, both for individual devices and for arrays. There is a need to develop and validate control technology to control the individual ORE device and the whole ORE farm to maximize the power capture, reduce the fatigue load and minimize the environment impact.

Context And Need

The control of individual wind turbines has been well developed but techniques for tidal and wave devices are lagging. In addition load reduction and robust control technology for the next generation ...[read more]

Impact Potential

Improved farm scale control will increase energy yield, reduce maintenance costs, minimise environment impact and thus enable a transition to larger ORE devices and farms. Improved control is needed t...[read more]

Research Status

Current activity includes: 1) UK-China - FENGBO-WIND - Farming the Environment into the Grid: Big data in Offshore Wind EP/R007470/1 2017-2020, https://gow.epsrc.ukri.org/NGBOViewGrant.aspx?GrantRef=EP/R007470/1 2) A New Partnership in Offshore Wind EP/R004900/1, 2017-2022, npow.group.shef.ac.uk/ ...[read more]
C5

Recycling/reuse of composites

Challenges/Opportunities

Composites, glass fibre in particular are currently not easily recycled. Very large amounts of composites will come out of service posing an environmentally unacceptable situation ??? current practice is to land-fill decommissioned blades.

Solution

With a number of offshore wind turbines approaching their end of service life, investigation of appropriate end of life scenarios becomes a timely priority.

Summary

A large number of first-generation wind turbines are entering the second half of their service life. Service life extension and repowering can reduce LCoE, however materials used in decommissioned blades in particular need to be reused/recycled. New research is needed to investigate methods to repurpose and/or recycle composites for offshore wind and marine renewables.

Context And Need

Need: A large number of first-generation wind turbines are entering the second half of their service life. Service life extension and repowering can reduce LCoE, however materials used in decommission...[read more]

Impact Potential

Expected potential impact is high for OPEX through repowering and life extension. However, it will become unacceptable for the industry not to tackle a growing major unrecyclability issue....[read more]

Research Status

Some disparate research work is underway by individual investigators but there is no concerted programme for the recyclability of composites for marine applications.Also Offshore Wind Innovation Hub - O&M and Windfarm Lifecycle innovation priorities Supergen ORE Hub - Flexible Fund Research - Re...[read more]
C4

New materials and coatings

Challenges/Opportunities

Corrosion and Fatigue degrade structural integrity and new materials need to be developed and applied for offshore wind and marine renewable energy applications. New materials, fatigue/corrosion/abrasion resistant Innovative materials with special properties can result to life time extension (beyond nominal 25 years) and reduce inspection/maintenance requirements

Solution

Fatigue/corrosion/abrasion resistant Innovative materials (including coatings) with special properties should be developed for life-time extension (beyond nominal 25 years) and reduce inspection/maintenance requirements.

Summary

The development of innovative materials and their application for the ORE sector will enable improvements in structural integrity, corrosion resistance and fatigue life.

Context And Need

Need: New materials can facilitate upscaling (more units, larger, in deeper waters, further offshore) at a reduced cost. Breakthrough: Breakthrough needed to enhance structural integrity through the...[read more]

Impact Potential

Very large potential impact for the reduction in OPEX....[read more]

Research Status

There is no joined-up initiative for considering the transfer of materials know-how from other sectors, or the development of a new generation of corrosion-fatigue resisting materials for marine applications. Some disparate research activities exist, the main overlap is the EPSRC CAMREG project. Of...[read more]
C3

Design for safe and cost-effective installation methods.

Challenges/Opportunities

Marine renewables and deep water offshore wind require reduction of installation costs through innovative methods while maintaining safety levels. Currently, installation approaches involve putting people into a hazardous working environment and this situation needs to be addressed.

Solution

To develop designs of ORE facility that require less offshore human activity during the installation process.

Summary

Marine renewables and deep water offshore wind turbines require reduction of installation costs through innovative methods while maintaining safety levels.

Context And Need

Offshore operations are inherently dangerous; A considerable portion of CAPEX and OPEX is due to installation requirements both for marine renewables as well as deep water wind installations....[read more]

Impact Potential

What is the potential impact on CAPEX, OPEX, performance, survivability, reliability, arrays, and adoptability. Expected potential impact is very high in for safety and CAPEX....[read more]

UK capacity to benefit

Research Status

Installation has to a large extent been an afterthought with the primary device design having been optimised for optimum operational costs. Development of installation processes has not been a part of overall concept development and hence generic solutions have not been studied systematically. Carbo...[read more]
A4

Long-term sediment transport measurement and modelling

Challenges/Opportunities

Ocean sediments can be mobile, affecting offshore structures, cables and habitat. The motion of sands and other sediments and the possibility of scour must be predicted, as well as environmental harm minimised.

Solution

Reliable multiscale methods - which work at region and farm scale, as well as local to structures - are needed to predict changes in bathymetry, sediments and habitat, validated by field surveys.

Summary

Morphological change in tidal races, tidal estuaries and the open ocean is not well understood, hampering exploitation resources. If the changes to water flow, sediment and habitat can be predicted, confidence in design and social acceptability will be raised.

Context And Need

The mobility of the seabed through sediment transport can affect offshore renewable energy (ORE) facilities. Scour management is often required around seabed structures and sediment transport can also...[read more]

Impact Potential

Habitat directive ??? currently an effective barrier to EIA consenting in estuaries. Unlocking significant resource and consequent social and environmental benefits. Benthic change ??? management a...[read more]

Research Status

Well understood large scale and medium scale sediment changes due to ORE. (Less work to date on fine scale)Ecology effects of energy extraction changes to waves and tides exists, e.g., SEACAMS2 http://www.seacams.ac.uk/Natural versus anthropogenically driven behaviour of hydrodynamics and sediment d...[read more]
C2

Serial (volume) manufacturing of complex structural systems

Challenges/Opportunities

The cost of ORE structures for deeper water sites and further offshore is expensive. Although fixed offshore wind has seen significant price reduction, floating offshore wind, tidal stream and wave energy remain too expensive to attract significant investment.

Solution

Structural Design needs to integrate with advanced and emerging volume manufacture technologies.

Summary

For ORE structures to be economically viable, economies of scale need to be realised. The design of next generation structural systems needs to transition from one-off laboratory scale models to volume fabrication to support wind/marine deployments in deep waters.

Context And Need

Need The UK cannot afford to import all its planned 30GW by 2030 structures and cannot compete with the established monopile industry; Jacket Structures and floaters are potentially new markets for UK...[read more]

Impact Potential

Increased safety due to less offshore maintenance; Reduction in OPEX and potential reduction in CAPEX and deployment in deeper waters. Better safety through reliability-based standards along with opt...[read more]

Research Status

There is some experience with Jackets but not at volume. A number of prototypes have achieved higher TRL levels, however the only floating array development comes from Equinor with practically no UK content There is a good basis for this work through offshore Oil & Gas, but research work tends t...[read more]
C1

Structural Integrity in the Marine Environment (corrosion, fatigue, coatings etc.)

Challenges/Opportunities

Corrosion and Fatigue degrade structural integrity and need to be better understood.

Solution

Experimental, Numerical and analytical damage models need to be developed, validated and verified for offshore structural integrity.

Summary

Offshore wind components/assets need to withstand the harsh marine environment hence understanding of degradation mechanisms should warrant operability and safety of personnel.

Context And Need

Need Offshore/marine renewables are subject to harsh deployment environments; corrosion fatigue is the primary progressive damage mechanism adversely affecting structural integrity and hence safety an...[read more]

Impact Potential

Expected potential impact is high in CAPEX/OPEX/survivability and safety. ...[read more]

Research Status

Joint Industry Projects over the past 4-5 years have mainly tackled such issues, informing fatigue assessment practices. However issues remain concerning corrosion fatigue, in particular: EPSRC CAMREG project Carbon Trust Projects Major Delft Corrosion Project SLICAlso the Offshore Wind Innovation H...[read more]
B5

Design of reliable cabling systems

Challenges/Opportunities

Degradation and failure of cables due to processes such as cable-seabed interactions affects ORE reliability and will be increasingly important for floating wind.

Solution

Better understanding of cable failure mechanisms including cable-seabed interaction is needed to support ORE expansion.

Summary

Better understanding is needed of the cable mechanics, hydrodynamics, fluid-structure interaction and interaction with a moveable sea bed, thermal and electrical effects; revisit fundamentals of exposure and support to unlock more cost-effective designs.

Context And Need

Cabling system can contribute to the total cost of the ORE system and can be a single point of failure. Therefore, a more cost effective cabling design will improve confidence in project financial pro...[read more]

Impact Potential

Impact on CAPEX as more reliable cabling will be designed and therefore the design can be less conservative. Impact on OPEX as the cabling damage hazards will be fixed and detecting system will be app...[read more]

Research Status

Existing projects: Offshore Renewable energy Cable Health using Integrated Distributed Sensor Systems https://ore.catapult.org.uk/press-releases/dynamic-cable-test-rig/HOME-Offshore: Holistic Operation and Maintenance for Energy from Offshore Wind Farms https://gow.epsrc.ukri.org/NGBOViewGrant.aspx...[read more]
B4

Multi-purpose hybrid systems for ORE and ocean resources

Challenges/Opportunities

Under-utilisation of the available ORE and ocean resources, and high cost of trialling new applications in isolation.

Solution

Hybrid systems exploiting more than one ORE or ocean resource, raising utilisation of ocean infrastructure including floating platforms and export cables.

Summary

Multi-use platforms may be platforms supporting both wave and offshore wind, offshore wind and tidal stream devices or integration of wave energy devices within sea walls and defences. Also includes the sharing of sea space and infrastructure with oil and gas structures or aquaculture.

Context And Need

Importance: For all offshore renewable energy technologies there are significant costs and design challenges that are associated with the site location and metocean conditions rather than directly wi...[read more]

Impact Potential

Potential for significant reduction of overall CAPEX (per unit of energy). Potential for increased environmental acceptance by limiting sites exploited. Potential for some reduction of operating ris...[read more]

Research Status

Offshore Wind Innovation Hub - Substructures innovation priorities____________________________________________________________________________________________ We would also like to invite UK researchers and industry stakeholders within ORE to submit links to research papers and projects, both past a...[read more]
B3

Moorings, anchors and foundations

Challenges/Opportunities

Foundation and station-keeping systems are a major fraction of ORE system costs and critical to system response.

Solution

Novel and higher performance mooring arrangements, lines, foundations and anchor systems will reduce the costs of support and station keeping, and optimise the dynamic response of wave devices

Summary

New concepts and materials for moorings; design of coupled mooring and foundation systems and coupling mooring analysis and hydrodynamics for floating offshore wind and wave devices. Mooring systems for arrays including shared moorings and systems with multiple devices per foundation

Context And Need

Importance For all ORE systems, multiple devices and the connecting electrical infrastructure require support or station keeping. Station-keeping requires systems of mooring lines and anchor or found...[read more]

Impact Potential

The mooring and foundation system can be a significant part of a fixed or floating structure, in shallow water, but as water depths increase these costs generally increase significantly. Deployment of...[read more]

Research Status

There has been significant research completed worldwide on mooring and foundation systems for fixed and floating oil and gas structures. This research should be leveraged for ORE. Recent work on anchoring includes work on driven pile design (e.g. PISA, ALPACA) as well as on screwpile design (Superge...[read more]
B1

Realistic fluid-structure-seabed design tools that work together, not in isolation

Challenges/Opportunities

Many design tools and processes neglect non-linear effects and cover a single discipline in isolation, leading to poor design outcomes

Solution

Existing models need to be improved and coupled to provide integrated whole system design tools

Summary

Design tools are used to predict how structures interact with the sea and the seabed, to test and improve designs. The current generation of simulation tools generally focus on one aspect ??? aerodynamics, hydrodynamics, structural dynamics or geotechnics ??? with simplified exchanges of data between them, meaning conservative simplifications must be made. Improving and coupling existing models will lead to better designs.

Context And Need

There is a need to reduce the time required for the design process, and eliminate unnecessary conservatism where it exists, so that ORE systems can be optimised and made more efficient. Many existing ...[read more]

Impact Potential

More accurate whole-systems design models will enable faster and cheaper design up front. They also offer better assessment of the long-term performance of the design. Design simulation can be applie...[read more]

Research Status

A CCP on Wave/Structure Interaction: CCP-WSI www.ccp-wsi.ac.ukModelling, Optimisation and Design of Conversion for Offshore Renewable Energy (UK-China MOD-CORE) https://gow.epsrc.ukri.org/NGBOViewGrant.aspx?GrantRef=EP/R007756/1Extreme wind and wave loads on the next generation of offshore wind turb...[read more]
B2

Novel device concepts ??? rethinking the mechanism of energy extraction

Challenges/Opportunities

Established devices are already optimised so have minimal opportunity to produce a performance step change; Limit of Economic Viability of Devices

Solution

Novel concepts, e.g. alternative turbine forms or wave harvesting devices, offer a disruptive step forward; To design to lower (for instance) the velocity of flow whilst achieving economic viability

Summary

Reducing the economic viability opens the potential for device deployment in UK; South America etc.

Context And Need

A step change in cost reduction may only come from the development of novel technologies and new ideas for renewable energy generation. This can apply to all of ORE, where larger novel turbines may di...[read more]

Impact Potential

The impact potential could be very significant. In order to displace existing technology there would need to be substantial CAPEX and OPEX advantages, perhaps through economies of scale at device leve...[read more]

Research Status

Research required.____________________________________________________________________________________________ We would also like to invite UK researchers and industry stakeholders within ORE to submit links to research papers and projects, both past and present, for inclusion within the landscape. ...[read more]
A2

Improved modelling tools for resource and loading assessment

Challenges/Opportunities

Existing models for predicting ORE resources and extreme loading on ORE facilities can be unreliable, particularly when extrapolating to extreme conditions, new regions, or when modelling new types of device or system.

Solution

Existing models need to be improved or further developed to become suitable tools for designing ORE systems under the full range of conditions, particularly frontier developments and new devices.

Summary

Improved modelling tools are needed for wave, wind and tidal power resource and extreme loading assessment and for farm planning and project design. Models are also needed that include multi-scale farm-resource interaction and allow the effect of the environment on the ORE structures to be modelled as well as the effect of the ORE farm on the environment.

Context And Need

Better and more reliable prediction of ORE performance will improve confidence in project financial projections. ORE performance predictions depend on modelling of the resource, the interaction of the...[read more]

Impact Potential

Impact on CAPEX as the interaction with resource and environmental conditions will be better understood and therefore design can have reduced uncertainty and potentially be less conservative. Impac...[read more]

Research Status

ROMS, FAST, SWAN, WAMIT, SPH, RANS CFD etc. are used to model waves, currents and wind interactions between ORE structures and the environment. Regional scale models tend to have very simplistic representation of the turbine or wave energy device. Lacks the full coupled interaction with the environm...[read more]
A1

Better measurement techniques for forecasting and resource characterisation

Challenges/Opportunities

Predictions of the environmental conditions often rely on data from a single point, or sparse locations. This causes uncertainty in the potential energy resource, the loading on devices and the weather windows for offshore operations.

Solution

Develop more reliable and rich measurement systems, to quantify the offshore environment, including combinations of wind, wave and current.

Summary

Measurement of MetOcean data, i.e. wind, wave and current data, including velocity, wave elevation, turbulence data, is necessary to understand the offshore energy resource. Techniques are needed to measure all forms of physical environment data and to take into account the influence of land, accessibility, the need to extrapolate to extreme events, resource variations in time and space, bathymetry and other factors. This data is an essential part of resource assessment, farm planning and prediction of performance.

Context And Need

Better and more reliable prediction of Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) performance will improve confidence in project financial projections. This can be improved with better and more reliable measurem...[read more]

Impact Potential

This challenge will impact on: CAPEX, as the resource and environmental conditions will be better understood and therefore the design can be more reliable and less conservative. OPEX as the availabl...[read more]

Research Status

Several methods are generally applied for the resource measurement, e.g., wave measurements: wave gauges, laser altimeters, pressure sensors, wave rider buoys, ADPs, radar system (like HF radar and X-band radar) and satellite-borne remote sensors (like radar altimeter and SAR); Tidal measurements: ...[read more]
A3

Resource and environmental characterisation in physical modelling facilities

Challenges/Opportunities

Real ocean behaviour, such as the turbulence in combined waves and current, is poorly understood and difficult to simulate in the laboratory.

Solution

New physical modelling technologies can be developed to produce more representative ocean conditions in controlled setting.

Summary

Laboratory facilities are increasing the realism of their simulations. New techniques allow complex aspects of the ocean environment to be modelled in the lab, such as combined wave ??? current characteristics, turbulence parameters, and combinations of wind, wave and current.

Context And Need

Designing for offshore conditions requires detailed analysis of the impact of wind, waves, currents and turbulence on the loads and performance of ORE devices. Numerical modelling can inform certain d...[read more]

Impact Potential

Potential impact on both OPEX and CAPEX via improved reproduction of complex field conditions leading to improved fidelity and reduced uncertainty in performance and extreme loading. Specifically, dem...[read more]

Research Status

On-going work at FloWave to characterise tank conditions and their representation of field conditions. FloWTurb: Response of Tidal Energy Converters to Combined Tidal Flow, Waves, and Turbulence https://gow.epsrc.ukri.org/NGBOViewGrant.aspx?GrantRef=EP/N021487/1Marinet2 project on cross-tank compar...[read more]