Navigating the Valley of Death: Reducing Reliability Uncertainties for Marine Renewable Energy
Thies, Philipp R.
Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs) are a widely used metric of technology maturity and risk for marine renewable energy (MRE) devices. To-date, a large number of device concepts have been proposed which have reached the early validation stages of development (TRLs 1-3). Only a handful of mature designs have attained pre-commercial development status following prototype sea trials (TRLs 7-8). In order to navigate through the aptly named valley of death (TRLs 4-6) towards commercial realisation it is necessary for new technologies to be de-risked in terms of component durability and reliability. Due to a lack of deployment experience a conservative design approach is often adopted utilising existing offshore certification guidance. Developers must therefore balance the competing requirements of designing economically viable and yet robust devices. Reliability assessment (including physical component testing and statistical analysis) enables device developers to determine component suitability and reliability in a cost-effective way prior to full-scale prototype deployment.
Proc. of the International Conference on Offshore Renewable Energy, 15th – 17th September 2014, Glasgow.
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