Robotics & Autonomous Systems

Find out more about our robotics and autonomous systems testing and validation facilities.

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Electrical Infrastructure Research Hub

The Catapult has appointed the University of Strathclyde and the University of Manchester to form the Electrical Infrastructure Research Hub.

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Automation & Engineering Solutions

Find out more about our work in robotics, autonomous systems and artificial intelligence.

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Stay Current

Dig deeper into the biggest issues facing offshore wind, wave and tidal energy with our series of Analysis & Insight papers.

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Live Innovation Opportunities

There are a number of programmes laying out the key technology innovation challenges faced by the offshore renewables industry that, when solved, will help drive down the cost of offshore renewable energy, with positive effects for the industry and UK economy. Visit our Live Innovation Opportunities page to find out if your technology has the answer.

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Introduction

Our work in Operational Excellence is focused on:

  • optimising O&M
  • O&M modelling and advice
  • planning tools for offshore logistics and tasks
  • operational best practice.

Our programme is designed to improve the inputs, assumptions, methods and tools used in the planning, coordination and delivery of short to medium term O&M tasks.

One aim is to help Operators, OEMs and ISPs optimise the productivity of their vessels and technicians for delivering tasks offshore. For example, generating new inputs for planning tools describing the physical and psychological impact of vessel transfer on the performance of technicians.

Another aim is to facilitate industry knowledge sharing and generation of best practice to drive a consistent and unified approach to offshore wind O&M, ensuring opportunities for collective learning and efficiencies are not lost. Successful delivery of the programme objectives has the potential to reduce LCOE by 0.7%.

 

Our activity

Operations & Maintenance (O&M) Forum

We run the Operations & Maintenance (O&M) Forum; a quarterly meeting attended by Operators of UK offshore wind farms. The aim of the forum is to promote, within the industry, the sharing of knowledge, challenges and opportunities for best practice in the operations phase.

Outputs from the forum are used to shape the programmes and projects delivered by the Operational Performance team, often in collaboration with industry. The innovation challenges identified by the forum are anonymised and communicated to SMEs and academia to focus UK innovation on where it matters for industrial end users.

G+ Safe by Design workshops

We have facilitated and reported on a number of ‘safe by design’ workshops for G+, the offshore wind industry’s health and safety organisation. Our ongoing relationship with this valuable organisation, whose membership includes the major European offshore wind operators, enables us to be aware of challenges and developments in offshore wind health and safety and ensures that our work and research is informed by Owner/Operators from a safety perspective. This group also enables the sharing of knowledge and best practice between member organisations and with the wider industry.

 O&M Case studies

Through our relationship with the O&M Forum,  the team has produced a number of O&M Case Studies.  These case studies are a key way to share knowledge, best practice and help the industry drive towards conducting operations and maintenance as efficiently as possible.

 O&M Strategy planning

As a result of our understanding of both the needs of industry and the landscape of innovation, we are uniquely well placed to provide services and insight based on realistic modelling of O&M strategies. We can aid innovators and new market entrants by helping them to commercially validate their services and ideas, helping them to understand the current practices, future trends and needs of their potential customers in operations and maintenance. This capability is also of benefit to Owner/Operators who may be seeking to optimise their O&M strategies, or objectively assess the potential benefits available from innovations or new technologies.

 

To improve performance and reduce the costs associated with offshore wind farms, there needs to be greater collaboration amongst industry players to share best practice and learning. If we are going to capitalise on the economic opportunity presented by a strong offshore supply chain, then we need to develop a collective view on what the key technology challenges are, and where the industry should be focusing its combined efforts on developing innovative solutions to drive cost reductions.

Chris Hill
Operational Performance Director, ORE Catapult

Our projects

As the offshore wind industry matures and provides energy at ever reducing costs, it is essential that O&M practices continue to be optimised. ORE Catapult are already working on projects to bring new technical or commercial solutions to the challenges of operating an offshore wind farm at dramatically reduced costs. We expect that efficient operation through a balanced approach which uses applied research to inform the strategies and scheduling of tasks will continue to grow in importance in the coming years, and expect to continue to work with industry and address this challenge.

 

Key successes

We have produced over 15 case studies on behalf of the O&M Forum and other industry partners. These produce valuable insights into the different approaches adopted by industry to address common challenges.

 


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