MET-CERTIFIED attended the Marine Tech Expo in Plymouth on 21/06

June 26, 2018
On 21th June, the day after the site visits in Falmouth and Plymouth, MET-CERTIFIED partner Ghent University attended the Marine Tech Expo in Plymouth, where an exhibit as well as ca onference programme showcased the SW marine and maritime knowledge of the UK's southwest. 

​The South Coast Marine cluster provided an overview of all test facilities in the SW of England.   Cornwall's grid connected Wavehub is currently exploring applications for floating wind energy.  Since the site of Wavehub is subject to harsh wave conditions, only mature technologies can be operated there.  Unfortunately, the wave energy market did not develop as predicted when Wavehub was built.  ​​​​Therefore, the focus is now turned to developers of floating wind to utilize the site.
  
Autonomous systems, remote monitoring & data science (including data security) were the main themes of this expo, and we explored synergies with applications in marine energy.  Currently little to no marine energy is present in the region, but once matured, these subjects can be of high added value in terms of operations & maintenance.

Prof. Deborah Greaves of Plymouth University coordinates the UK Supergen Marine collaboration, a R&D coordination project amongst UK universities in offshore wind, wave and tidal energy.  We also discovered an SME which supplies Lloyds certified polymer bearings for shaft or rudder bearings in marine propulsion systems, and explored the possibilities for these types of bearings in tidal energy applications. 

Autonomous underwater vessels are quickly maturing, and we observed a shift to relatively small scale and relatively cheap AUV which operate more as a fleet.  Launching these small AUV's is flexible, recovery needs more coordination.  These AUV's might become important in on site characterization and O&M for (pre-)commercial tidal energy arrays.

As a conclusion, a lot of technologies showcased at the Marine Tech Expo can be used in the later stages of operational conditions for marine energy.