Installing, operating, and maintaining devices in harsh marine environments in a cost-effective and reliable manner presents significant difficulties. The corrosive saltwater environment, deep water, and high pressures at depth; dynamic benthic systems where devices will be anchored; sites that are sometimes located far from shore or port infrastructure; and extreme weather events all contribute to difficult conditions in which marine and hydrokinetic systems must be deployed and maintained. Developing and demonstrating solutions to solve this challenge would significantly reduce reliability concerns and enable greater access to project financing. Additionally, existing ships and port infrastructure have been developed specifically for other offshore commercial and industrial uses, and direct utilization of these ships and infrastructure without adaptation for the unique cost and performance requirements of marine energy technologies often results in suboptimal efficiency and high costs.
Through its Technology-Specific System Design and Validation Activity Area, WPTO aims to address these challenges through the following approaches:
- Validate performance and reliability of systems through prototype testing, including in-water testing
- Improve cost-effective methods for installation, operations, and maintenance (IO&M)
- Support the development and adoption of international standards for device performance and insurance certification
- Evaluate existing and potential needs for marine energy-specific IO&M infrastructure.