A comprehensive assessment tool for low-TRL current energy converters





performance assessment, lifecycle analysis


Along with a market-competitive levelized cost of energy, a current energy converter technology strongly benefits from an extensive consideration of socioeconomic, environmental, and regulatory factors early in the design process. As part of a technology performance level assessment, a series of assessment questions and guidance are developed and presented to evaluate an early-stage current energy technology on holistic criteria considering the entire device lifecycle. The assessment represents an accumulation of industry and research experience to date and relies on regular updates to ensure alignment with industry best-practices, regulatory requirements, and up-to-date technical understanding. A cradle-to-grave (materials, manufacturing, installation and deployment, operations and maintenance, and end-of-life) assessment of capabilities and functional requirements % MA- currently calling functional requirements engineering specifications within the PBE team, not sure if we should start using "engineering specifications now and be consitent with our language considering the potential desal paper. If I'm interpretting this incorrectly pls ignore me.
for tidal, river, and ocean current technologies has been completed. This work presents the evaluation questions and qualitative %(i.e., high, medium, and low)
performance criteria for current energy converters deployed in tidal, ocean current, and/or river applications. Key considerations related to manufacturing and installation include supply chain robustness, manufacturability and related job creation in the end-user and/or adjacent communities, and the time-to-repayment of the embodied energy debt. During deployment and maintenance operations, the safety of the device and subsystems during disconnect or grid failure, the difficulty and frequency of offshore heavy-lift activities, the avoidance or mitigation of area-use conflicts, the sea-states and weather conditions that permit maintenance access, and the availability of contingency plans (should conditions change unexpectedly) are a portion of the considered assessment criteria. Results include the potential impact of early-stage design decisions on the socioeconomic, environmental, and regulatory performance of a technology that allows developers to increase the product value and probability of success, and minimize costly late-stage design iterations through early and broad consideration of factors affecting overall performance and acceptability.



How to Cite

D. Forbush, J. Colby, and N. Mendoza, “A comprehensive assessment tool for low-TRL current energy converters”, Proc. EWTEC, vol. 15, Sep. 2023.



Economical, social, legal and political aspects of ocean energy


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