Reliability in a sea of risk

In today’s investment environment, the perception of technical risk is dependent on how confident the investors are that marine energy devices will perform their required functions under stated conditions for a specified time

In order to achieve this reliability, it is important not only to predict the life of a product, but also to investigate and take into account the sources of variability and their influence on life prediction. The Reliability in a Sea of Risk (RiaSoR) project addresses the strategic need for the marine energy industry to learn lessons on the key engineering challenges that underpin the reliability and future Levelised Cost of Energy (LCoE) reductions of emerging wave & tidal device technology.

PROJECT DETAIL The project has adapted, evaluated and demonstrated the value of utilising a reliability methodology called Variation Mode and Effect Analysis (VMEA) for ocean energy sector. It is supposed to establish industry best practices in reliability testing for wave & tidal devices through improved load measurements and verification, standardising design guidelines for marine energy systems and increasing safety in marine energy operations.

COLLABORATION The RiaSoR project brings together

three leading European research and testing sites, European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC), Research Institutes of Sweden (RISE) and Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult, in order to develop industry approved reliability testing practices. These practices will be applied by the research and testing sites, ensuring consistency and robustness of testing to demonstrate reliability across wave & tidal technologies.

The overall technical approach is driven by RISE, who brings their experience in reliability testing from the automotive industry. RISE focus on developing a VMEA framework and adapting the framework for structural reliability analysis. EMEC concentrates on the adaption for mooring and foundation analysis. ORE Catapult focuses on the implementation for electrical power system analysis.

Marine energy converters (MECs) In the reliability design process for MECs, both variation sources and lack of knowledge must be accounted for. Loads acting on a MEC vary according to different sea-states, both over time

and between sites. Methods for the assessment of the reliability of a MEC include many different levels of complexity, both regarding the mathematical modelling and the statistical modelling.


VMEA methodology and practices in the RiaSoR project will bring the developers closer to the ultimate aim of reducing Health Safety and Environmental (HSE) risks, technological risks, operations & maintenance (O&M) costs, all which will lower the Levelised Cost of Energy (LCoE) for the sector.

Pär Johannesson RiaSoR

Acknowledgement – The RiaSoR project was supported by the Ocean Energy European Research Area Network (OCEAN ERA-NET), a network of 15 national and regional funders, of which InnovateUK, Swedish Energy Agency and Scottish Enterprise are contributors. 33

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