UCC Offers Free Use of World Class Renewable Energy Test Facility

Start-up companies, research groups and entrepreneurs working in the area of marine renewable energy and based in the EU or in FP7 associated States will welcome the offer of free access to one ofEurope’s leading test facilities.

Due to demand, the Marine Renewable Infrastructure Network (MARINET), co-ordinated by University College Cork (UCC), is offering free-of-charge use of Irish and European leading test facilities for marine renewable energy R&D. This is a unique opportunity for SME’s, companies, entrepreneurs, inventors, engineers and researchers alike to avail of state-of-the-art interlinked infrastructures and associated expertise, with usual fees paid for by the European Commission.

This fourth call is specifically offering access to test facilities specialising in the fields of offshore-wind, electrical, mechanical and moorings technologies. The 17 marine energy R&D infrastructures on offer include facilities such as wind tunnels, power conversion systems, corrosion and materials testing laboratories.

UCC’s own electrical Power Take-Off rig housed in the Beaufort Research National Ocean Energy Test Facility is an adaptable multi-functional test rig designed for scaled laboratory testing of rotational power take-off equipment, control and grid integration of a wide range of electrical systems used in ocean and wind energy technologies. The unique design of this world-leading test-rig facilitates generator-type selection, control strategy design and optimisation, power quality analysis, energy storage and grid connection effects. For far lower costs than at-sea testing, results from the test rig can inform device developers’ decision-making before, during and after expensive at-sea trials.

“By testing and verifying our control algorithms at Beaufort Research before going to sea, we identified and corrected any communication and timing issues thus avoiding expense of at sea alterations,” says Peter Kracht of Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy and Energy System Technology.

An applicant team must be based in the EU Member States or States associated with the 7th Framework Programme. Team members based outside the EU can also participate as long as they do not form the majority in the team.  The team must apply for a facility which is located outside their home country.  MARINET also provides a financial contribution to assist the team with travel and accommodation costs.

Typical projects might be:

* A start-up company teaming up with their local university to test the efficiency of a novel energy conversion system at a world-class electrical research facility abroad.

* A research group testing the corrosion characteristics of a new material that they have designed for use on offshore platforms.

Visit www.fp7-marinet.eu for further details and to make an application. The call closes 20th August 2013.

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