Cross-Cutting Facilities

EMEC –  Integrated Monitoring Pod

EMEC’s Integrated Monitoring Pod (IMP) is an all in one environmental monitoring platform for tidal energy sites. The IMP is a 2m cube steel structure with mesh sides which is deployed on the seabed connecting to the shore via a dry mate electro-optic cable. The pod supplies power to devices mounted on the structure and delivers data into EMEC’s SCADA system. It is deployed at EMEC’s tidal testing site and it will be recovered and redeployed on an as required basis.

There is an opportunity for integration of new subsea equipment onto the pod for testing purposes with power and data connections available. EMEC’s Pod currently monitors the following aspects of the marine environment: Detection of seals, cetaceans and other sea life, tidal currents, waves, conductivity, temperature, density, turbulence and ambient noise. The Pod offers an ideal testing for new marine equipment that requires testing in a high energy marine environment.

More information available here

Ifremer – Basin of Brest

More information available here:

Ifremer – Material Testing Facility

The facilities available within the MARINET2 project include: seawater aging of materials and material characterization. Seawater aging is performed in aging tanks at different temperatures (4°C to 90°C), with either natural seawater or deionized water. The water is continuously renewed.

Mechanical testing includes static and cyclic loading up to 100 tons. Specific facilities are available to test ropes and cables, The influence of hydrostatic pressure on both water diffusion and mechanical behaviour can also be studied.

Additional information available here;

Tecnalia Component Corrosion Test Platform

Tecnalia – Component Corrosion Test Platform

The “Component Corrosion Test Platform” is composed of two independent infrastructures:

HarshLab1.0: this 100% offshore marine exposure site was installed in Summer 2018 in the Biscay Marine Platform (BiMEP), 2km away from the Basque coast. HarshLab1.0 allows the evaluation of standardized probes and other components in real offshore environment, in immersion, splash and atmospheric zones. This offshore laboratory can handle up to 765 probes (125 samples in atmospheric, 320 in splash and 320 in immersion zone. Environmental conditions in BiMEP area are monitored, while 24/7 surveillance is ensured, with regular inspections by boat available.

Natural marine exposure site in immersion zone at Pasaia’s port: installed in a floating dock in the port of Pasaia (Gipuzkoa, Spain), materials can be tested in a classical marine port environment. Samples (alloys, coated materials, polymers…) are placed in immersion zone, while main environmental parameters are monitored. This facility gives valuable information concerning the material degradation mechanism and the lifetime forecasting. Due to its high nutrient loads and high water retention time, this site is specially recommended for biofouling assays.


University of Exeter – DMac

The Dynamic Marine Component Test facility (DMaC) is a purpose built test large-scale rig that replicates the forces and motions components are subjected to in offshore applications.

The test rig comprises of a linear hydraulic cylinder that can be used to replicate any tensile or compressive force up to 23tonnes (dynamically) and 44 in static tests.

The unique ‘moving headstock’ with three degrees of freedom representative of x- and y-bending or torsion allows replicating the movement (up to ±30º) and forces (up to 10kNm moment). The rig allows immersed testing in freshwater. The test specimens can be variable in length, up to 6m.

Unique facility will allow to accommodate sections of full-scale components (e.g. mooring, power cables). Allows unique 4 degrees of freedom testing with high-frequency (up to 10Hz) motion displacements. Submerged, wet testing possible. Fully flexible test regime and test control capability. Builds on portfolio of test expertise and knowledgeable staff to support testing.

The facility is supported through the University Research Knowledge Transfer team that is accredited to ISO9001:2008, as well applying mooring tests procedures such as: ISO 18692. Access will be provided on a typical 5 day a week; 8hr working day. However, if continues testing is required arrangements will be made for 24hr/day testing. The facility manager will be available 100% throughout an access as well as academic support will be provided through senior and other research and technical staff members.

More information available here:

University of Exeter – FaBTest

FaBTest (Falmouth Bay Test Site) is an award-winning, pre-consented, 2.8km2 test area situated within Falmouth harbour, between three and five kilometres offshore in Falmouth Bay. The infrastructure provides demonstration opportunities for scaled or full scale devices, as well as providing scope for field demonstration of sub-systems such as moorings, foundations and umbilical cables are all supported.

FaBTest has a pre-consented status, which allows for up to three devices to be deployed concurrently, aims to provide a fast, flexible low risk and low cost solution for the testing of marine energy technologies, components, moorings and deployment procedures. The site offers water depths of 20m-50m and seabed types of rock, gravel and sand. Operational support of the site, as well as ongoing monitoring and world leading research is provided by the Renewable Energy Group from the University of Exeter, based on the nearby Penryn campus.

FaBTest has unique pre-consent for device demonstration which fit in to the envelope of licenced activity.  Such devices require no additional lease of licences for deployment, reducing time and cost to developers.  Full site survey and resource characteristics available to support planning, design and deployment process. The facility provides the opportunity to generate knowledge and test data through field demonstration for whole systems and sub-systems such as moorings, marine power cables and validation of numerical models. A minimum of 8 weeks is required to go through diligence process with FaBTest regulatory panel and the minimum of installation interval is 1 month.

More information available here:

CTC – Marine Corrosion Test Site ‘El Bocal’

The Marine Corrosion Test Site “El Bocal” (MCTS “El Bocal”) is a Marine Laboratory placed in open water and located at the shoreline of the Cantabrian coast, few kilometers away from Santander, whose main purpose is to test, study and analyze the behavior of different materials and coatings against marine biofouling and corrosion.

The facility has been designed to test specimens under realistic conditions of exposure in any of the three different exposure zones (submerged, tidal and splash). In addition to materials and coatings, pieces of other components with marine requirements, such as fishing nets, ropes, steel wires offshore chains or materials for aquaculture cages can be placed and tested.

More information available here:

NUI Galway – Large Structures Test Cell

Full-scale structural testing of composite, reinforced concrete and metallic ocean energy structures, including structural testing of tidal stream blades under fatigue and static loading – in accordance with IEC and ISO standards, assisting blade manufacturers to achieve industry certification.  The structural test facility may also be used to provide motive power to test power take off systems for wave energy devices.

A large reconfigurable test frame (10m x 6m 6m) along with multiple servo hydraulic actuators up to 750 kN) allow a very flexible test approach. The advanced actuator control system allows for a wide variety of load or displacement sequences across multiple actuators, which is suitable for static and fatigue testing.

Data acquisition of up to 136 independent high speed channels can be carried out simultaneously; displacement, force, acceleration, strain and other types of sensor are available to configure the test. Cutting edge technology such as a stereo camera Digital Image Correlation device (non-contact 3D position and strain), a 3D laser scanner (surface recovering) and a CT scanner are also available to increase testing possibilities.

More information available here:

University of Limerick – ROV

Work-Class Intervention ROV, High forward thrust – 4knots, 2000m rating, Precision navigation, PHINS INS, Ocean RINGS automated control for piloting and manipulation, 3 x 4k UHD cameras, High Resolution Multibeam imaging system, Launch & Recovery system (LARS) and Tether Management System (TMS), 285kg Payload, Laser line scan imaging, Dual Orion 7P Manipulators. 20ft Control Cabin.

System is developed for operating in the splash zone. System can be used with LARS & TMS (with total footprint of 2 x 20ft containers) or it can used in free swimming mode without LARS/TMS (with total footprint of 1 x 20ft container and the ROV itself).

More information available here:


The PLOCAN Marine Test Site is located on the East coast of Gran Canaria Island (Spain, The Canary Islands are located in the Atlantic Ocean, south-west of Spain and Northwest of Africa. The marine test site includes an area of about 23 km2 with a wide range of water depth from shoreline to 600 m. This Marine Test Site is available to projects focused on testing and demonstrating of all kinds of marine devices but mainly marine renewable energy converters. The final testing decision would be conditioned to the appropriateness, opportunity and availability of the facilities.

The electrical and communication infrastructure (REDSUB) is composed of two medium voltage cables (13.2kV) with a capacity of 5MW, each one, within the range of ±1% of 50Hz. The infrastructure will be mostly underwater, comprising hybrid cabling, with copper cables for the transmission of electrical power and fibre optics for data transmission, including a short terrestrial section to connect to the electrical substation on land. The onshore infrastructure will go from the manhole up to the electrical substation (66kV), where the electricity is raised up for its deliver to the national transmission grid. The onshore infrastructure will be composed by an underground medium voltage cable with a capacity of 15MW, by a power transformer station (13.2kV to 66kV) and all electrical protections required. This part will only be available after the Summer of 2017.

More information available here:


Biscay Marine Energy Platform (BiMEP) is an infrastructure for testing marine energy converters, located just off the coast of Armintza, northern Spain. With a grid connection capacity of 20 MW, purpose built substation and offices, the platform offers technology developers the opportunity to demonstrate their latest devices in test-friendly wave conditions. Along with a sister installation at Mutriku (Mutriku Wave Power Plant) BiMEP is able to provide a wide range of services in real sea conditions.

In addition, a consortium made up of BiMEP and IH Cantabria has been tasked with developing a scientific and technological project called TRL+. The purpose of TRL+ is to offer innovative tailored solutions for the development of marine technologies from concept through to field testing.

More information available here:

WAVEC – Pico Plant (OWC)

This plant consists of a hollow reinforced concrete structure – pneumatic chamber – above the water free surface that communicates with the sea and the incident waves by a submerged opening (1+3) in its front wall, and with the atmosphere by a fibre duct with an air turbine (2+4).

The incident waves cause vertical oscillation of the water column inside the chamber, which in turn causes alternate air flow to and from the atmosphere, driving the turbine and the generator attached to it. The electricity is fed into the local grid of EDA (Regional Utility) at the Cachorro grid connection point. An important factor in designing this kind of plants is the dimensions of the pneumatic chamber, in order to provide resonance with the incident sea state.

More information available here:

ECN – SEMREV (Sea Test Site)

The French research sea test site (SEM-REV) is part of the experimental facilities of Ecole Centrale Nantes to develop marine based energy generation products. The 1km2 site is located 10 nautical miles West-South-West of Le Croisic’s cape on France’s western Atlantic coastline with water depths ranging from 32-36m.

The area has a restricted access for navigation and has all permitting to install Ocean Energy devices to be tested. Offshore wind energy and wave energy converters can be tested, as well as all sub-components and installation and maintenance operations. The site is connected to the grid and has the possibility to connect three devices.

More information available here:

SmartBay – MARETS

SmartBay is Ireland’s national marine test and demonstration facility for the development of innovative products and services for the global maritime sector.  This includes the trial and validation of novel marine sensors, prototype equipment and the collection and dissemination of marine data to national and international users of the facility.

SmartBay supports the testing and validation of novel sensors and equipment for its users. Facilities include surface platforms and a sub-sea cabled observatory demonstrating and validating of new technologies and solutions. Users can access the SmartBay information and communication technology environment to validate innovative solutions for marine and related sectors.

A specialist team of marine operations and instrumentation technicians provides a range of supports to all users of the facility. This enables users of the facility to focus on data analysis, device validation and product development. Each project is guided from initial concept through to deployment and proof of concept validation.

The sub-sea cabled observatory at SmartBay includes:

  • Fibre optic data and 400v power cable
  • High speed communications via 4 pairs of optical fibres and which will host a variety of sensors and equipment and which can be tested and demonstrated in near real-time
  • 10 expansion ports which will be dedicated to the test and demonstration of new and novel equipment

SmartBay infrastructure includes:

  • Mobilis DB8000 buoys
  • Sensor hardware
  • Communication systems
  • Data acquisition systems
  • Bespoke web portal
  • Access to a range of vessels (Including Dive Support, Tugs and Multi-Purpose Research Vessels)

More information available here

ORE Catapult – Marine Test Site

ORE Catapult’s open access dry dock testing facilities which include a simulated seabed and still water tanks provide a flexible and controlled onshore saltwater location for all stages of technology development. Site features: simulated seabed; indoor and outdoor assembly with crane and engineering support; exclusive and secure on-site office; operations support team and workshop facilities and mobile tower lighting and flat bottomed work boat.

Facilities available:

  • Still Water Tank 76m x 19m – Depth 7m
  • Simulated Seabed 85m x 15m – Depth 3.5m
  • Still Water Tank 75m x 26m – Depth 8.2m

More information available here: