The diverse range of technology concepts in tidal energy converters characterises this early stage of the tidal sector. However, in the last few years some technologies have been progressing faster towards the very first multiple deployments and commercialisation. The Horizontal Axis Tidal Turbine (HATT) is one of the more dominant configurations being developed. However, even within this “narrow” classification, the technology developers have chosen different design solutions and strategies. The differences are largely influenced by the different approaches taken to minimise the Levelised Cost of Energy (LCoE). Maintenance costs are a significant cost driver over the lifetime of an installed unit and therefore reliability is going to be a key factor.
This report proposes a methodology to be followed for the development of a simulation tool for the purpose of analysing the reliability of power train components. Reliability is a complex problem and has multiple influencing factors and interrelationships and therefore the proposed approach is broken down into discrete processes. These are outlined in Section 3.2 and shown diagrammatically in Figure 1.
The simulation tool will enable an improvement of reliability throughout the design process by simulating the reliability of tidal turbine powertrain systems and components. An example case is presented within this report, providing guidance on the how this may be achieved and demonstrating the feasibility of the approach.