The scope for improving the performance of the offshore wind and marine energy and industries

  • Supervisors: Prof Malcolm Horner, University of Dundee, and Prof Paul Mitchell, Aberdeen University
  • Sponsoring Company: Babcock International Group 
  • PhD Student: Alan Taylor

Current estimates of the levelised cost of electricity produced from offshore wind suggest that it will need to be reduced by at least 30% to satisfy the economic imperative, whilst environmental and social impacts have still to be fully evaluated. The purpose of this project is to explore in depth the interdependencies between the economic, environmental and social issues, and to determine how costs can be driven down without prejudicing the social and environmental dimensions of sustainability.

The project will explore the scope for applying a variety of techniques including Integrated Logistics Support (ILS) Physics of Failure models and scenario analysis to the development of optimum whole life solutions for the generation of energy offshore. Several ILS techniques are potentially relevant, including Failure Modes, Effects and Criticality Analysis to understand the risks associated with failure; Reliability Centred Maintenance to understand the safety, economic, operational and environmental consequences of failure and the most appropriate strategic response; Availability, Reliability and Maintainability analysis to assist design, operational and maintenance optimisation; and Level of Repair Analysis to determine how maintenance resources can most effectively be deployed. Reliability predictions will be assessed based on the understanding of failure physics of the components/systems. The principle deliverable will be a unique, comprehensive model of the production of offshore energy incorporating all interdependencies, and providing for the first time the opportunity to identify the optimum holistic, sustainable solution for a wide variety of differing contexts.