SEAI Energy Awards 2022 Winner | Ore Group MaREI UCC
Ore Group MaREI UCC were the winners of the 'Excellence in Energy Research and Innovation' category at the SEAI Energy Awards 2022. Find out why, in this case study.
1,200people trained for the next generation of MRE researchers and engineers
31 papersacademic papers published
5.5 millionfree tests provided to industry
MaREI is the SFI Research Centre for Energy, Climate and Marine research and innovation co-ordinated by the Environmental Research Institute (ERI) at University College Cork. The Centre comprises over 220 researchers focusing on defined global challenges such as the Energy Transition, Climate Action and the BlueEconomy.
Marine renewable energy (MRE) is a nascent sector and there is still a lack of support both in terms of guidance and access to test facilities for technology developers. Yet it is seen as the key enabler to decarbonising the global economy.
In 2017, the ORE Team in UCC MaREI managed by Dr. Michael O'Shea under PI Jimmy Murphy kicked off the MaRINET2 project with a goal of supporting this sector.
The MaRINET2 project comprised of 57 facilities across Europe, including 3 virtural, that tested marine energy devices, including test tanks, wind tunnels, field test sites, component test facilities, and other cross-cutting research facilities. 39 partners from 13 countries worked on this project. It received €10.5 million H2020 funding and ran for 5 years.
The project focused on offshore wind, standardisation, wave energy, tidal energy, tank testing, moorings and marine renewable energy.
The objectives of the project included:
- Standardisation of the testing wave, tidal, offshore wind and cross-cutting systems, thus improving the quality, robustness and accuracy of testing practice where currently no standardisation exists.
- To provide free access to test facilities over a series of 5 competitive calls for both established and emerging MRE technology developers and researchers.
- To provide training relevant for ORE to both academia and industry.
- To contribute to the improvement of knowledge transfer between research centres, academia and industry.
- To create an open access e-infrastructure, housing datasets related to MRE. Additionally, a programme of round robin testing within the MaRINET2 project identified the effects that individual laboratory facilities have on performance results for a particular device model.
We know the project has been a success, tangibly it has already been recognised at EU level for implementation and in academic terms for paper awards, however, the real success is the legacy of the Marinet 2.
- The MaRINET2 project has produced over 30 academic papers including a dedicated special issue in the Journal of Marine Science and Engineering (JMSE). These papers are open access and will provide guidance to developers and researchers in areas such as standards, testing setup and environmental data analysis. One of these papers was awarded Editors Choice in the JMSE.
- This output is collated in a dedicated e-infrastructure, that also includes related datasets. The output of the project has been awarded the EU Atlantic Strategy Marine Energy Award in 2021.
- MaRINET2 provided free of charge high-quality training for the MRE industry, through a series of ten short-courses that were held from June 2018 until September 2021.
- A total of 1,200 participants from 65 countries attended the training provided by MaRINET2. The topics covered included, integrated tank testing,hydrodynamics of fixed and floating offshore wind turbine foundations, reliability and risk analysis of ORE technologies as well as test and verification processes from tanks to the sea. Over half the budget of the project was focussed on supporting the MRE Industry through free access to test facilities.
- Through the project’s Transnational Access (TNA) programme, a total of 173 test campaigns have been funded to date, primarily for SME's in the industry but also large companies and academics.