Our industry partners comprise a diverse range of SMEs and MNCs, extending across a wide range of sectors including renewable energy, marine ecology, shipping and logistics, utility provision, communications, aquaculture, material science and others. Through their involvement in MaREI, each of our Partners is exposed to cutting-edge research and development and is able to participate in an environment of innovation and entrepreneurship. Interaction between our industry partners can lead to significant synergies and cross-fertilisation of ideas, and the opportunity to develop relationships with other companies and capabilities within the Centre. MaREI hosts regular Industry Open Days, which afford our partners the opportunity to showcase their services and to meet with other companies, along with funding bodies and trade organisations. These events have proven to be highly successful in promoting collaborative relationships across the Centre. In addition, MaREI industry partners have the opportunity to participate with our academic partners on EU H2020 funding applications, and to receive guidance and assistance on applications for additional funding programmes and mechanisms.
Details relating to some of the collaborative industry projects that are currently being carried out in MaREI are outlined as follows:
This project focusses on underwater imaging techniques to identify marine growth loading on MRE structures, with a focus on beam-like components. Applications extend to underwater pipelines, pile wharves and floating MRE devices. The project encompasses the development and testing of imaging techniques, together with ocean wave basin testing.
DP Energy Ireland
This project focuses on the development of a MATLAB toolbox to facilitate step-by-step initial design for a tidal turbine and its support structure, including the analysis of blade loading conditions and support structure stability. This will involve CFD modelling, followed by physical modelling of the device to validate key parameters.
This project focuses initially on wave resource characterisation, involving the collection of base data combined with numerical modelling/extrapolation, representing the first practical application of the IEC Technical Specifications. This will be followed by a Metocean analysis of the target area for both wave and wind conditions, together with a geotechnical analysis of seabed conditions, followed by a techno-economic study of reliability, accessibility and survivability in MRE projects.
This project focuses on the development of a prototype tidal energy device. This includes research into the design of a scaled prototype device, performance of CFD modelling to determine tidal loads together with physical testing, and an investigation into blade loading and fatigue. The project aims to provide input into the design and construction of a full-scale 500kW device.
This project focuses on the underlying research and small-scale testing/simulation relating to the installation of a gravity-based structure, which will be utilised for a combined wind and wave energy platform. The concept is intended to be self-installing. The project will focus on risk and cost/benefit aspects in determining the preferred installation methodology.
Marine Harvest Ireland
This project focuses on the energy requirements associated with existing and proposed aquaculture installations, and the applicability of utilising appropriately-scaled renewable energy devices to improve production and reduce fish mortality. This involves an assessment of available renewable energy resources, and focuses on a bubble-curtain containment system as a high-energy demand case study.
This project focuses on visual and acoustic monitoring of marine mammals in a coastal environment, building on existing time-series of data obtained at Broadhaven Bay, Co. Mayo, in order to determine and understand the impact of anthropogenic activity on sensitive marine species. This phase deals with the identification of construction/post-construction impacts, and potential recovery of the system, including Passive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM) and visual observations.
This project focuses on offshore novel airborne wind energy systems. The project involves the development of a floating platform from which the Skysails Power wind energy concept can operate. It includes design of the floating platform, fabrication of appropriately-scaled physical models, model testing in a wave tank setting, and subsequent design revision and refinement.
This project focuses on enabling improved environmental assessment for MRE developments, including monitoring of noise associated with MRE devices. Using pressure sensors, sound fields and background noise levels associated with installation of these devices, as well as with ships during cable-laying, will be analysed. This work will be complemented by numerical modelling.
This project focuses on sensor-based approaches for MRE monitoring and inspection. This includes research and development of acoustic and camera-based imaging for registration, positioning, navigation and visualisation systems to facilitate ROV inspection of MRE installations. Particular attention will be focussed on cost reduction and pilot control for such systems.
Here at MaREI, we are always cognisant of the extremely important role our industry partners, both large and small, play in supporting the Centre and its research activities. Their ongoing contribution to research excellence within the Centre is testament to the value of our services to industry, academia, and society in general, and the direct potential for job creation and economic gains.