MERIC project was initiated by DCNS Energies (Currently Naval Group) and Enel Green Power supported by the Chilean Ministry of Energy, through the government’s economic development organisation CORFO (Corporación de Fomento de la Producción). MERIC program is 8-year long supported by a contribution of around 17 million US dollars in cash as well as and in-kind funding, 53% of which will come through cash funding from the Chilean government’s economic development organisation named CORFO.
MERIC is a ground-breaking global centre of marine energy R&D excellence in Chile, that gathers highly motivated people with great experience to support six research projects related to marine energy, in which the research fields are resource assessment, site characterization, bio-fouling, bio-corrosion, technology adaptation to extreme ocean conditions and technology integration to current marine industries.
MERIC has developed as flagship project, the Open Sea Lab, a WEC installed in Las Cruces, that supplies energy to marine sensing instruments around the OPT buoy. This project has reunited and integrated MERIC’s team capacities around the installation and monitoring around this test site.
MERIC experts are developing tools, guidance and capabilities to facilitate and coordinate the implementation of offshore renewable energy technologies to Chile’s unique natural conditions (seismic activity, rugged coastline, a particularly rich and diverse array of marine flora and fauna).
Concurrently, MERIC has examined international experience related to procedures, regulations, and public policies that could be adopted in a Chilean context. Researchers at MERIC are also looking to ensure an appropriate management of social and environmental impacts of marine renewable energy projects, with a focus on community engagement and the development of models and protocols to support the decision-making process.
MERIC during the first 7 years of development, established a national and international reference on marine renewable energy with a consolidated infrastructure and experience which has allowed knowledge to local coastal and marine industries, through applied research, technological development and innovation in all of the sciences areas involved in the exploitation of marine energy resources. Particularly, the Center has been understanding the ecosystem dynamics of the coasts along the country for the adaptation of current MRE technologies to the extreme conditions of Chile and its hazards. MERIC is structured as a hub for innovation in marine energy in Chile and at global level.
Currently, the Center is exploring opportunities to integrate marine energy solutions to the hydrogen industry that is being introduced strongly in the country, mainly in the Magallanes Region, to support the optimization of energy storage and back up processes of producing hydrogen and e-fuels.
The research activities are carried out at:
- Marine Research Laboratory of Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile ECIM (Estación Costera de Investigaciones Marinas), located in Las Cruces, Valparaíso region;
- laboratory of engineering y biotechnology of Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (PUC) in Santiago, Metropolitan region;
- department of hydraulics and environment of PUC in San Joaquin, Metropolitan region;
- department of naval engineering of University Austral of Chile (UACh) in Valdivia, Los Rios region
Chile (Las Cruces, Santiago, Valdivia)
2023 - Application for a Public fund from ANID (National Agency for Research and Development) in order to extend the Center program. That would allow the continuity of the center up until 2025.
2023-2033 - Application to a international fund for establish a tidal energy site in Magallanes. This project will allow to integrate all research lines and introduction of global actors in MRE sector.
Papers, Reports, Research Studies
Relevant publications and reports can be viewed at https://meric.cl/repositorio/
- Boundary conditions and Schwarz waveform relaxation method for linear viscous Shallow Water equations in hydrodynamics
- Wave energy assessment in the central-south coast of Chile
- Study of poly(3,4-ethylendioxythiphene) as a coating for mitigation of biocorrosion of AISI 304 stainless steel in natural seawater
- Hydrodynamic analysis of a heaving wave energy converter
- Numerical analysis of a diffuser-augmented hydrokinetic turbine
- Assessment of the power potential extraction in the Chilean Chacao channel
- Human dimensions of marine hydrokinetic energies: Current knowledge and research gaps
- A Schwarz-based domain decomposition method for the dispersion equation
- Blade-resolved CFD analysis and validation of blockage correction methods for tidal turbines
- The effect of scan rate on the precision of determining corrosion current by Tafel extrapolation: A numerical study on the example of pure Cu in chloride containing medium
- Abundance, composition and succession of sessile subtidal assemblages in high wave-energy environments of Central Chile: Temporal and depth variation
- Capturing the development and interactions of wakes in tidal turbine arrays using a coupled BEM-DES model
- Experimental and Numerical Investigation of Wake Interactions of Marine Hydrokinetic Turbines
- A Formulation of the Thrust Coefficient for Representing Finite-Sized Farms of Tidal Energy Converters
- Beyond tides: surge-dominated submersion regimes on rocky shores of central Chile
- Effect of Tidal Cycles on Bacterial Biofilm Formation and Biocorrosion of Stainless Steel AISI 316L
- Perspectives for harnessing the energetic persistent high swells reaching the coast of Chile
- Electrochemical Bacterial Enrichment from Natural Seawater and Its Implications in Biocorrosion of Stainless-Steel Electrodes
- Initial adhesion suppression of biofilm-forming and copper-tolerant bacterium Variovorax sp. on laser microtextured copper surfaces
- Susceptibility of different materials and antifouling coating to macrofouling organisms in a high wave-energy environment
- Sea State from Single Optical Images: A Methodology to Derive Wind-Generated Ocean Waves from Cameras, Drones and Satellites
- Modeling the wake dynamics of a marine hydrokinetic turbine using different actuator representations
- Experimental Assessment of a Conducting Polymer (PEDOT) and Microbial Biofilms as Deterrents and Facilitators of Macro-Biofouling: Larval Settlement of the Barnacle Notobalanus flosculus (Darwin, 1854) from Central Chile
- Electrochemical enrichment of marine denitrifying bacteria to enhance nitrate metabolization in seawater
- Testing the Test: A Comparative Study of Marine Microbial Corrosion under Laboratory and Field Conditions
- Wave analysis based on genetic algorithms using data collected from laboratories at different scales
- Experimental Modeling of Extreme Events for Wave Energy Converters in Chile
- Microbial Electrochemical Technologies for Sustainable Nitrogen Removal in Marine and Coastal Environments
- Mathematical modeling of microbial corrosion in carbon steel due to early-biofilm formation of sulfate-reducing bacteria via extracellular electron transfer
- Flow effects of finite-sized tidal turbine arrays in the Chacao Channel, Southern Chile