Bringing standardization into next wave energy generation technologies
SEA-TITAN is an H2020 research and innovation action (RIA) under the topic ‘Developing the next generation technologies of renewable electricity and heating/cooling’. It is coordinated by Wedge Global S.L. in Spain and integrated by 11 partners from 6 European countries.
The SEA-TITAN project fosters a step towards change in the marine wave energy sector by designing, building, testing and validating a crosscutting and innovative Direct Drive Power Take-Off (PTO) solution to be used with multiple types of wave energy converters. The PTO comprises the electric generator, power electronic converters, control devices and additional mechanical devices. Design is based on a previous Wedge Global prototype and focus on augmenting its specific force density and efficiency to levels which significantly increase the energy capture in many types of Wave Energy Converters. In addition, the developed technology is open source to promote update and accelerate innovation. The performance and reliability demanded by wave energy systems exceeds the normal capabilities of commercial components commonly used in other industries.
Currently each original equipment manufacturer has different requirements, so pursuing the development of bespoke components not only limits the utility of the end product but also multiplies the development costs, causing a barrier to establish a dedicated supply chain and fully deploy this renewable energy technology in practice.
The organization coordinating the project, Wedge Global S.L. is a mid-stage start-up in the new offshore renewal industry, with experience in worldwide business management and technology development. Initially, they had no previous experience in standardization. Despite of this, in their first H2020 project as coordinators, they identified the need for standardization and selected UNE, the Spanish National Standardization Body as a suitable partner for their consortium.
Defining new standards
SEA-TITAN promoted the creation of a CEN-CENELEC Workshop Agreements on ‘Modular and cross-cutting Power Take-Off units for wave energy converters. Interface, mechanical requirements and laboratory testing’, which has published two CWAs:
CWA 50271:2021 “Recommendations for a modular and cross-cutting Power Take-Off for wave energy direct drive linear solutions”, is a product standard covering requirements and recommendations for designing and manufacturing the power take-off unit and for wave energy technology developers or associated stakeholders to integrate the new power take off unit.
CWA 50272:2021 “Methodology, procedures and equipment required for the laboratory testing of a modular and crosscutting Power Take-Off for wave energy converters”, describes the laboratory testing methodology for the PTOs or their separate parts and the required equipment, covering common procedures for different types of PTO solutions.
IEC/TC 114 and CLC/SR 114 “Marine energy - Wave, tidal and other water current converters”, have been contacted and informed accordingly, so they can take the CWAs as the basis for further standardization works.
How standards support new technologies
Being an Innovation Action, SEA-TITAN benefits from the published standards by generating confidence while looking for a critical mass of users that can make economically profitable a serial production. Furthermore, the published standards share design, manufacturing and testing recommendations for the new devices to encourage a collective effort to make this technology progress, in an Open-source technology vision, to be incrementally developed by other stakeholders. Consequently, having standards as clear starting references is a strategic business keystone.
The CWAs relate to a new concept of product, with the main characteristic of being modular and integrable with different systems, intending to redefine the sector. If the product is accepted by the market and new open innovation is added, stronger standardization of the product at European or International level will be a market must, and the published CWAs will be the basis to grow from.
Having standards support a new concept of a product intended to interoperate with different systems, is central for the international market outreach, not just for the development of these devices, but due to its modular and cross-cutting properties, for accelerating the implementation of the whole marine energy technology. Additionally, as the intention is to allow further open innovation based on collaboration licenses, the CWAs are not only the reference for the market uptake but also for the future development of the product.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 764014