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Bodycote moves into the marine renewables arena

Posted on 26 Apr 2021 and read 334 times
Bodycote moves into the marine renewables arenaCredit: Colin Keldie

Macclesfield-based Bodycote, the world’s largest provider of heat treatments and specialist thermal processing services, is targeting the marine renewables sector after securing work with wave energy pioneer CorPower Ocean.

Bodycote, which has built a long-term track record in automotive, aerospace, energy and broader industrial sectors, is helping the Swedish company to optimise key components in its wave energy converters (WECs).

CorPower’s high-efficiency WECs, inspired by the pumping principles of the human heart, offer five times more energy per ton of device compared to previously known technologies. Incorporating a series of unique features to boost storm survivability and power capture, the WECs also benefit from thermochemical treatment to protect against the harshest marine environments.

Thomas Lindahl, CorPower’s senior procurement and quality engineer, said: “After our initial collaboration we have now worked with Bodycote at a number of plant locations across Sweden to develop mechanical components for our WECs using Corr-I-Dur.

“This thermochemical treatment simultaneously improves corrosion resistance and wear properties by generating an iron nitride-oxide compound layer. Durability and robustness are of paramount importance in the wave energy sector, and effective protection of devices in the hostile ocean environment has always presented a major challenge to our industry.”

Corrosive environment

He continued: “Corr-I-Dur has proved a particularly favourable solution being specifically designed for components subjected to a corrosive environment in combination with wear. From a commercial perspective, solid proof of the long-term resilience of our WECs makes them infinitely more valuable.

“We believe this collaboration will play a crucial role protecting our WECs during our next phase of testing in the Atlantic Ocean, and for the years to come.”

BodycotePaul Clough, Bodycote president for Northern and Eastern Europe, said: “We are pleased to be contributing to the marine renewable energy industry by making components last longer in extreme conditions.

“By using Corr-I-Dur, CorPower was able to design mechanical components such as pistons, guides and linkages, that are suitable for the world’s harshest environments for metal. Our customers value Corr-I-Dur for its ability to provide superior material properties such as wear and corrosion resistance, reducing maintenance costs and downtime for hard to access equipment.

“CorPower was looking to push the performance of their metal components through durability and corrosion resistance.”

CorPower Ocean is aiming to commercialise reliable and competitive wave energy technology, unlocking the natural power of the oceans to help tackle climate change and achieve a sustainable low-carbon future.

The firm is now ramping up operations for its flagship HiWave-5 demonstration project in northern Portugal to propel its wave technology to a bankable product offering by 2024 - proving the survivability, performance and economics of a grid-connected array of WECs.

The 16-million-euro project includes investment to build a wave energy hub in the Port of Viana do Castelo, involving R&D, manufacturing and servicing facilities for the long-term development of supply and service capacity for commercial wave energy farms.