Wave Energy Scotland (WES) has rolled out an open-source operations and maintenance (O&M) simulation tool for wave energy developers.
The O&M simulation model, developed by Anthony Gray through WES-sponsored EngD research project, is an Microsoft Excel-based O&M tool that uses the Monte Carlo method to simulate the occurrence of faults on each device in a wave energy array by using failure rate data.
All the components of the device are represented by fault categories, assigned following a Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA) of the wave energy converter (WEC), WES informed.
The user can choose whether certain faults can be repaired while the WEC is offshore, or if all faults require the device to be towed to the safety of a sheltered quayside or onshore O&M base for repair.
WES said that wave energy developers found an O&M simulation model extremely useful tool as it can help identify critical components which would have the biggest impact on array performance, thus providing feedback into the device design at early stages of development.
Also, the tool provides estimates of array availability, revenue and operational expenditure which helps to refine Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) calculations, WES said.
In addition, the tool can also be used to assist developers in planning aspects of the O&M strategy for future arrays as device development moves towards real sea testing.
The model is available for download, together with the supporting explanatory documentation.