The third Marine Hydrokinetic Instrumentation Workshop was held at Florida Atlantic University’s Sea Tech Campus in Dania Beach, Florida, from February 28 to March 1, 2017. The workshop brought together 37 experts in marine energy measurement, testing, and technology development to present and discuss the instrumentation and data-processing needs of the marine energy industry. The goals of the meeting were to:
- Better understand the state of instrumentation, measurement, and data-processing capabilities for testing, assessment, monitoring, and operation of marine energy converters (MECs)
- Identify gaps (problems, deficiencies, or lack of capabilities) in marine hydrokinetic (MHK) measurement and data-processing technology, assess the impact of those gaps, and prioritize the gaps for solutions
- Define pathways for developing solutions to the gaps
- Present progress made to address gaps identified at previous workshops.
The workshop was comprised of a plenary session followed by two focused breakout sessions. The half-day plenary session reviewed findings from prior instrumentation workshops, presented research activities that aim to fill previously identified gaps, and had industry experts present the state of the marine energy measurement technologies. The bulk of the workshop was spent in the breakout sessions where the workshop participants split into three groups 1) wave energy converter (WEC) field testing and operation, 2) current energy converter (CEC) field testing and operation, and 3) laboratory testing (WEC and CEC). The first session defined and ranked gaps in measurement technology and data processing. The second session defined ways to develop measurement and data-processing technologies to fill the gaps.
The first section of this report provides the background for the workshop, review s the objectives, and details the structure. The body of this report details the findings from the workshop in terms of gaps i n existing technology, capabilities, and infrastructure. The findings also include descriptions of the benefits of closing the gaps and potential solutions to those gaps. A final section describes the common themes that emerged in several of the findings.
The workshop identified 28 primary findings in the areas of
- Information dissemination and data processing
- Standards, guidelines, and recommended practices
- Enhanced measurement capabilities
- New measurement and testing capabilities
Four cross-cutting themes emerged from many of the findings:
- Limited knowledge transfer: a wealth of experience, knowhow, and tools have been generated from laboratory and field testing, yet much of this knowledge is not disseminated or is hard to find. There is a need to disseminate knowledge so the MHK industry can avoid repeating mistakes, minimize duplicate efforts, and leverage the experience of others to help accelerate technology development and reduce costs while not compromising intellectual property.
- High cost of measurement: marine grade instruments can be expensive and strain tight test budgets; often leading to a tradeoff between the breadth and duration of a test and the number and quality of measurements. By adopting mechanisms to increase instrument availability, share instrument costs between projects, increase the measurement capabilities of existing instruments, adapt instruments for MHK application, share knowledge of instrument use, and standardize measurements, measurement costs can be reduced.
- Better measurement capabilities at low technology readiness levels (TRLs): measurement capabilities for smaller-scale models (1:10 and smaller) typically used at low TRLs are inadequate and sensors either do not exist, are too expensive, or adversely impact device response. For technologies to advance at smaller TRLs, new measurement technologies are needed to enable accurate and affordable measurements.
- Open-source tools for unified data processing and analysis: data processing and analysis is typically performed on a project-by-project basis using custom code with unique processing and visualization methods. By encouraging sharing of vetted data reduction, processing, QA, and visualizations code and by adopting standard methods, the MHK industry would be able to accelerate the analysis and increase the credibility of test results.
The gaps, impacts of the gaps, benefits of closing the gaps, and solutions to the gaps contained within this report were synthesized from the preworkshop survey and input from workshop participants. The findings are intended to be informative and used by government bodies, industry and the research community to help advance MHK testing and measurement – they do not necessarily represent the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO) views or program objectives.