Project Concept

In order to improve tidal stream power availability the REMO project will develop a system for the remote and permanent monitoring of the structural integrity of all the rotating components in a tidal stream generator so that advanced warning of potential structural failure are obtained well in advance, avoiding potential damage and allowing all necessary component repairs or replacements to be performed at scheduled maintenance intervals, targeted to be less than 15 days per year (i.e. availability time of at least 96%, to minimise both maintenance costs and lost electricity revenue). The estimated maintenance cost reduction based on precedents with wind turbines will be 50%. This strategy will reduce present projected costs of tidal stream energy production down to levels comparable with wind turbine electricity costs (0.058€/kWh), thus ensuring the economic viability of tidal generators.

The REMO technology is based upon the monitoring of structural vibrations throughout the entire frequency spectrum generated by the rotating components and so will combine a suite of accelerometer sensors for the low frequency regime and acoustic emission sensors for the high frequency regime.

The REMO technology will permanently monitor tidal stream generators and determine the vibrational signature of a healthy turbine and the evolution of that signature during the turbine life cycle. It will then discover any significant change in that signature that could be a symptom a structural health problem at any point in the life cycle, including the build-up of marine fouling, and then issue an automatic warning. State of the art similarity analysis algorithms based on the Euclidian distance measure in multiple dimensions will be used in both the time and frequency domain to process all vibrational data involved in the state of health diagnosis.

The system will be validated by installing it on an in-service tidal stream generator developed by one of the SMEs who will also be an end user of the proposed REMO technology.

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