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Transnational Access – Facilities Available

Offering Free-of-Charge, EC-funded Access to Test Facilities

45 state-of-the-art wave, tidal, offshore-wind & environmental data and cross-cutting facilities – with associated personnel and expertise…

Some of the MARINET facilities on offer
A cornerstone of the MARINET initiative is the offer of EC-funded transnational access for those who wish to conduct marine renewables testing at specialised facilities/infrastructures.  Access is open to companies and research groups of any size who wish to test at facilities outside of their own country.  Costs of accessing the facility are borne by the EC (through the 7th Framework Programme) for defined periods of access, and a contribution is made towards travel costs.

The suite of facilities that makes up the MARINET network represents the highest quality of facilities in the marine renewable energy sector. The quality of the infrastructure not only depends upon the physical facilities but also includes the capability and experience of the staff. All of the staff at the infrastructures have extensive experience in the field of offshore renewable energy.

A convenient Category View table presents the available infrastructures grouped by focus-area as described below, or alternatively the infrastructures can be viewed in  List View which can be sorted by scale or focus-area.

To apply, please first read the information in the Access Process section.
Applications are made online and a sample Application Form for Transnational Access is available here.

The 6th and Final Call for applications for free-of-charge Transnational Access to MARINET Infrastructures is NOW CLOSED.

Wave Energy Example: HMRC Ocean Wave Basin

Successful commercialisation of wave energy devices requires extensive testing at all scales from concept and theory through to small-scale model, intermediate scales and full ocean tests. Many iterations of testing are required throughout this process and testing infrastructure is fundamental to the whole process.  MARINET infrastructures in the wave energy sector represent a full capability suite for testing device performance and research.

  • Small scale laboratory testing facilities for Concept testing (Stage 1, TRL 1-3) at AAU, QUB, UCC-HMRC, UNI-STRATH and UEDIN and UNIFI.
  • Medium/large scale laboratory testing facilities for Design testing (Stage 2, TRL 4) at CNR-INSEAN, ECN, IFREMER, LUH (through HYRDRALAB IV) and NAREC, PU and UEDIN.
  • Intermediate-scale field sites for Sub-Systems testing (Stage 3, TRL 5-6) at AAU, EMEC and SEAI-OEDU.
  • Large scale field sites for Solo Device Proving (Stage 4, TRL 7-8) and Multi-Device Demonstration (Stage 5, TRL 9) at EVE and SEAI-OEDU.

Tidal Energy
Example: IFREMER Wave-Current Circulation Tank

MARINET infrastructures for tidal energy device testing provide a coherent approach to testing and accommodate the increased scaling of tidal devices within world-class facilities as they evolve towards commercialisation.

  • The tow/flow tank facilities at DTU, PU, UEDIN, UNI-STRATH, USTUTT and UNIFI-CRIACIV (wind tunnel) provide first stage testing of approximately 1/30th scale prototypes
  • The second stage development is provided by large-scale recirculating flow channels (CNR-INSEAN, IFREMER) together with scaled in-sea facilities (QUB, TTC) which provide 1/10th scale testing
  • The nursery test site facility at EMEC provides commercial sized performance quantification

Offshore-Wind Energy
& Environmental DataExample: ECNETH Database of measurements on OWEZ

Offshore wind farms can be installed in all water depths but the development up to now is mainly seen in areas with shallow water.  Technologies used further offshore are expected to differ depending on the water depth and the floating concepts to be used in very deep water particularly call for extensive R&D and testing.

  • Wind tunnel facilities are available at UNIFI-CRIACIV and USTUTT.
  • Onshore testing is available at DTU national wind test site.
  • Wind generating capability for combined wind/wave tests is available at ECN, UNI_STRATH and CNR-INSEAN.

Environmental data in the form of databases for offshore wind energy or measurement of wave and tidal data at particular locations are also available.

  • Databases for offshore wind energy are available at DTU and ECNETH.
  • Specialist instrumentation systems for offshore wind measurements are available at NTNU, DTU and USTUTT.
  • Measurement of waves and tides over large sea areas is offered by Plymouth University’s novel instrumentation system.
  • QUB, SEAI, EMEC and AAU have wave/tidal data from their test sites available to site users which may be provided to others at the facility’s own discretion (i.e. not via MARINET).

Cross-Cutting Areas
Example: NAREC Nautilus Rotary Test Rig

Many research and development requirements associated with offshore renewable energy are common across the wave/tidal/offshore-wind areas and are not device-specific. Examples of such issues include power take-off methods, electrical power conversion systems, scaling performance and dynamic behaviour, station keeping/moorings etc.  MARINET includes a number of specialist facilities in each of these ‘Cross-Cutting’ areas.

  • Small-scale electrical test infrastructures are available at UCC-HMRC, TECNALIA and SINTEF.
  • Rotodynamic water turbine test facilities are offered at USTUTT.
  • Larger scale electrical test facilities are available in NAREC and DTU.
  • Large scale air turbine (OWC) testing infrastructures are available at EVE and WAVEC.
  • Materials testing infrastructure is available at DTU, IFREMER, NAREC and UNEXE at laboratory scale, and at FH-IWES at open sea facilities.
  • Moorings infrastructure is available at a medium-scale site from UNEXE.