IMPACT's Final Project Meeting in VGA

IMPACT's Final Project Meeting in VGA

VGA hosts the IMPACTs final meeting

On 10th and 11th April 2024, the IMPACT project successfully held its seventh project meeting in Perugia, Italy. This was the project’s final official meeting.

The project meeting was hosted by VGA. VGA is the project’s coordinating partner, and leads one of the three remaining active work packages: DHIL Testing Platform Development (WP6). This work package will commission IMPACT’s Dual Hardware-In-the-Loop (DHIL) testing platform in the coming months.

“Hostling the project partners for the first time at VGA (the kick-off meeting was held online due to the pandemic restrictions) was truly a pleasure for us. Their presence during the commissioning of the rigs allowed them to see their capabilities and ensure that the key functionalities were met. This meeting allowed us to show not only the outputs of the IMPACT project but also the capability of VGA in delivering test rigs and prototypes for different applications,” said Giacomo Alessandri, who leads WP6.

Work package discussion and facility visit

The first day took place at the Hotel Giò in Perugia, where discussions focused on WP6, the Integration of Novel Test Rigs & Methodologies work package (WP7), and the Project Results Exploitation and Dissemination work package (WP8).

As part of WP8, the project members reviewed the final details for the project’s second workshop: “Wave Energy Rig Testing Workshop: Bridging the Gap between Research and Deployment”, which took place on 12 April, also at the Hotel Giò.

The second day involved a visit to VGA’s testing facility in Deruta, where the IMPACT structural components test rig and drivetrain test rig are housed. Together, these two rigs comprise IMPACT’s innovative dual hardware-in-the-loop (DHIL) testing methodology.

The drivetrain test rig was originally constructed as part of the concluded EU project IMAGINE, but has been furtherly upgraded throughout IMPACT so that it can test either linear or rotary Power Take Offs (PTOs) for different types of wave energy converters (WECs). The rig is now connected to a grid emulator, capable of replicating different grid conditions (under- and over-voltage ride though, connection and disconnection, shut-down) the drivetrain can be subject to during its lifetime.

The structural components test rig was entirely designed and constructed as part of the IMPACT project, to target components that are constantly subject to mechanical loads such as the mooring system, dynamic power cables or any mechanical interface connecting key parts of a device (such as joints); at the same time, it can also cater for tests of low-cost, high-criticality components, such as sealing and connection systems.

Testing campaign to be conducted on the rigs

Now that the rigs have been developed, the next task is to conduct a series of tests to demonstrate their capabilities.

The week after the project workshop, two representatives from SINTEF Ocean visited VGA to oversee the testing procedures as well as conduct risk assessments for the drivetrain and structural components test rigs. They also created a digital twin of the structural component rig, which will enable the collection of even more valuable data about its performance.

In May, two representatives from SINTEF Energy Research will also visit VGA, where they will conduct tests on a drivetrain with a rotary geared motor to demonstrate its main functionalities of the test rig. The activities will include the characterization of friction, efficiency and overall performances under representative input load conditions (using input profiles from a reference WEC model). At the same time, tests are currently being conducted on the mooring system of the structural components test rig.

More still to come

The project is now entering its concluding phase – but we’re not finished yet! We still have news, blogs, scientific papers, and final reports to come – stay tuned!

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