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 identifying the key technology innovation challenges faced by the offshore renewables industry. Solving these challenges 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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SMEs & Agile Innovators

Global Offshore Wind V-Fest | ORE Catapult’s Virtual Pavilion

Welcome

We are proud to be supporting game-changing SMEs: those companies delivering inspiring innovation to the offshore renewables industry.

At ORE Catapult, helping high-growth UK SMEs to scale-up and commercialise their technology is at the heart of our mission. We provide expertise and advice with world-leading facilities and facilitate access to industry and funders, to develop, de-risk and support the journey of bringing new technologies to market.

Our unique programmes such as Launch Academy, Fit 4 Offshore Renewables, and our collaboration with Tus-Park in China are just some of the ways we have managed to support over 800 SMEs since 2013 as we push to enhance the UK’s offshore wind supply chain, enable greater UK content and support cost reduction through innovation.

This year at Global Offshore Wind V-Fest, we are delighted to host five innovative SMEs with ground-breaking technology that is set to revolutionise the offshore renewable energy sector. Learn more about these innovators and how you can get involved below.

 

 

Meet the Gamechangers

Cable failures at offshore wind farms can account for 75%-80% of the total cost of insurance claims while the total cable expenditure only accounts for around 7%-9% of the capital costs for a new wind farm. As a result, Synaptec is on a mission to reduce the down time and operations and maintenance (O&M) costs associated with electrical faults. To do so, it has developed a game-changing sensor technology, RefaseTM,  to capture multiple distributed electrical measurements across inter-array systems and provide unprecedented system awareness at the speed of light.

Our work with them

Synaptec joined forces with ORE Catapult as part of the REACTION project to support the development of its RefaseTM technology. The £234,000 project examined the practical deployment, operation and data platform potential of the technology for offshore renewable generation. Ultimately, the REACTION project produced a commercial product demonstrator for array cable protection, fault identification and cable failure prognostics that was trialled and validated on our  7MW Levenmouth Demonstration Turbine.

Following the initial tests, ORE Catapult is working with Synaptec and Vattenfall to investigate demonstrating the technology on a larger scale at the European Offshore Wind Demonstration Centre. ORE Catapult will continue provide its expertise in areas such as engineering, coordination, planning, dissemination and marketing support.

Find out more about Synaptec’s journey here.

 

Essex-based SME GreenSpur Renewables was established to develop and commercialise a new direct-drive generator that exclusively uses ferrite – an abundant material around forty times cheaper than rare earth – as an alternative. GreenSpur’s concept removes the costly price-tag and supply risks of using rare earth magnets and presents enormous opportunities for UK-based manufacturing and its associated supply chain.

Our work with them

GreenSpur successfully tested a 75kW prototype in 2017, followed by the testing of a 250kW unit during 2019, at our 1MW powertrain rig. The prototype testing is providing GreenSpur with confidence in a market-ready design by 2022 that could take 33% out of the capital cost of direct-drive generators, and therefore 5% reduction in the cost of a turbine.

GreenSpur has also secured a place on our National Launch Academy to further support its drive towards product commercialisation. The Launch Academy initiative focuses on near-to-market solutions and is supported by eight industrial and business support specialists providing the cohort with the support they need to help get their technology to market. The cohort will have the opportunity to pitch to ORE Catapult’s network of investors.

Find out more about GreenSpur Renewable’s journey here.

 

Aberdeen-based Miros is a trusted provider of reliable, real-time ocean data to the offshore wind sector. Miros has over 35 years of experience in providing accurate ocean insights through the development of a number of sensors and systems for environmental monitoring to the global offshore maritime industry. These monitoring sensors and systems provide crucial information regarding the offshore environmental conditions, which is fundamental for successful planning, decision-making, and execution of operations and maintenance (O&M) activities. Using Miros’ sensors will allow vessel operators to increase operability by up to 15% during O&M activities and help wind farm owner/operators reduce maintenance costs by up to 80% against traditionally used Wave Buoys.

Our work with them

In 2019, Miros installed its WaveWeather technology at our Levenmouth Demonstration Turbine, providing insights to sea surface conditions as well as a range of meteorological parameters. Imitating the conditions found on an operational offshore wind farm site boosts bankability and investor confidence in innovative solutions such as WaveWeather, helping to accelerate its journey to market.

Data from the Miros WaveWeather was subsequently fed into ORE Catapult’s Platform for Operational Data (POD), providing open access to offshore wind information for academics, researchers, and the wider community pursuing growth opportunities in renewable energy.

Now Miros has their eyes set a little further afield. Earlier this year, it was announced that Miros was one of the eight green energy innovators to secure major collaborations in China thanks to support from the ORE Catapult and TUS-Wind collaboration, TORC.

Find out more about the Miros journey here.

 

Magnomatics Limited is commercializing novel products based upon highly efficient proprietary magnetic gear technology. Magnomatics’ innovative magnetic gear technology replaces the traditional turbine generator and gearbox with a single, magnetically-geared permanent magnet generator. As gearboxes are one of the most common sources of component failure in offshore wind, pseudo direct drive technology could have significant advantages in terms of reliability and lower maintenance costs when scaled up to the size of current offshore wind turbines.

Our work with them

The Catapult’s research team has played a key role in the development, specification and concept model review of the generator, while our testing team are developing a rigorous programme to prove and demonstrate the prototype’s feasibility in our 3MW powertrain test facility. The project team has established a potential 2.9% reduction in the cost of energy through using the system – which, along with lower maintenance costs, makes the switch to PDD generators an attractive prospect.

 

A national transition from natural gas to hydrogen is increasingly seen as necessary to meet the UK’s net-zero targets by 2050. The way we use, store and produce energy is changing and hydrogen production is essential if we are to reverse the effects of the climate crisis. With this in mind, Riversimple is aiming to provide customers with the first affordable, hassle free, eco car, delivered as a complete and cost-transparent service.

The Riversimple car has been designed from scratch to deliver a step change in fuel efficiency and environmental performance.  It’s powered by hydrogen and built with lightweight but strong composite materials.

Our work with them

ORE Catapult and Riversimple are part of the Milford Haven Energy Kingdom (MH:EK) project consortium partners. MH:EK aims to accelerate the transition to an integrated hydrogen and renewable energy system by creating diverse, local, community-based markets that integrate with, and benefit from, the cluster of major energy infrastructure along the Milford Haven Waterway. The project will build hydrogen-ready features and technologies such as hydrogen-fuelled cars; hybrid heat pumps and hydrogen-ready boilers for heating.

 

Watch the video below to gain a snapshot into the work we do with offshore renewable energy’s ground-breaking SMEs and agile innovators.

 

 

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