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WEC Technology Readiness and Performance Matrix – finding the best research technology development trajectory

Date: November 05, 2013 at 12:52 GMT

The paper identifies and discusses the need for techno-economic performance improvements at early stages of the wave energy converter (WEC) technology development process. Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs) for wave energy projects provide a valuable metric of technology readiness and deliver useful guidance for the development process. This paper describes the complementary metric of Technology Performance Levels (TPLs) characterised by a set of quantified performance criteria aimed at identifying and classifying the techno-economic performance of wave energy technology. These TPLs are broadly inversely related to cost of energy (CoE) and provide a combined measure for capital expenditure (CapEx), lifecycle operational expenditure (OpEx), energy conversion efficiency and technology availability. Less quantifiable performance aspects such as acceptability and safety are also considered in the definition of the TPLs.
A 2-dimensional representation of technology readiness and performance levels is introduced. This TRL–TPL–Matrix visualisation provides a useful means for the evaluation, comparison and discussion of different research technology development trajectories over the technology readiness and performance levels plane. The paper identifies the need for technology performance trajectories with high technology performance levels at low readiness levels and gives valuable advice on the development strategy and tools required to achieve successful WEC technology development outcome at reduced development time, total development cost and encountered risk.
Keywords: Wave energy converter, technology development 

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