Moving Ireland’s offshore renewable energy sector forward
A new ocean test facility in Cork offers companies a chance to de-risk and test technologies before they enter the commercial market.
Ministers have called the Lir National Ocean Test facility, which is incorporated in the MaREI Centre and located in the €20.5m purpose-built Beaufort Building, is key to the development of Ireland’s offshore renewable energy industry.
“The diversity of our work at Lir reflects the numerous commercial opportunities that offshore renewable energy presents. We support companies by de-risking their technologies through our extensive testing capability including towing, installation, performance and survivability testing,” said Dr Jimmy Murphy, general manager, Lir National Ocean Test Facility.
He pointed out that the facility also operates in the broader marine sector as it has the capacity to test any structure that can be fabricated at a smaller scale.
In the past, Lir has tested Oil & Gas platforms, aquaculture cages, vessels, breakwaters and coastal protection structures.
The facilities at Lir, which are available to industry, academia and government agencies nationally and internationally, include four wave tanks that can replicate real ocean conditions and allow testing of various marine technologies and structures at different scales.
Dr Murphy said that in relation to testing of offshore wind, wave and tidal energy technologies, Lir is the only facility with the capacity to link tank testing output to electrical test rigs, that emulate power take off systems, to determine power quality from devices and possible grid integration issues.
By Anne-Marie Causer
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