29 August 2017
By Bryan T. Smyth
Lir National Ocean Test facility is key to the development of Ireland’s offshore renewable energy industry. Incorporated in the MaREI Centre and located in the €20.5m purpose-built Beaufort Building, Lir provides world class testing capacity together with the most experienced technical team currently operating in this space. The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Denis Naughten, T.D. today visited Lir for the first time to review this state of the art facility.
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. 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.
Speaking on his first official visit to the National Ocean Test Facility, Minister Denis Naughten said, “It is really exciting to see this renewable energy test infrastructure here in Cork today. As well as world class facilities, I have been really impressed by the expert team that works closely with industry, researchers and state institutions to achieve the best possible results for testing of innovation ocean energy technologies and devices for marine systems.”
“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. We also operate in the broader marine sector as we have 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. We continue to engage with indigenous entrepreneurs, multinationals, academic and research institutions to drive Ireland’s blue economy,” said Dr Jimmy Murphy, General Manager, Lir National Ocean Test Facility.
During the visit to Lir, Minister Naughten also met with representatives of the Centre for Marine and Renewable Energy (MaREI), Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) and the UCC Environmental Research Institute (ERI).