On January 1, the Lir National Ocean Test Facility (Lir-NOTF) will progress to the operational phase of its life cycle with the completion of three years of commissioning works. To celebrate this important milestone, Lir-NOTF will be hosting an official inauguration event on January 18 2019. The keynote speech will be delivered by an Tánaiste Simon Coveney TD, with Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys TD, the President of UCC Patrick O'Shea, the Lord Mayor of Cork and the Mayor of County Cork all in attendance. Representatives from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, who part funded the development of the facility, and leading industry partners from the ocean energy sector will also be in attendance.
The Lir-NOTF is a part of the Marine and Renewable Energy Ireland (MaREI) Centre and is located in University College Cork Beaufort Building in Ringaskiddy. The Lir-NOTF currently houses four pieces of wave and current testing infrastructure: the Deep Ocean Basin, the Ocean Basin, the Wave and Current Flume, and the Wave Watch Flume. These tanks and flumes combined with the onsite electrically laboratory to create a unique facility providing outstanding small-scale testing for offshore renewable energy devices.
The Lir-NOTF is available to all developers for offshore renewable energy testing. It is also offered as a free test facility through the MaRINET2 project. The third call for MaRINET2 closed on the December 15, with large numbers of ocean energy device developers from across Europe applying to test at the facility. In the past six months a number of different concept have been tested at the facility, including the installation of offshore wind turbines, waste harvesting in the deep ocean, and a number of small-scale wave energy devices.
In early 2019, the Lir-NOTF will begin the ISO/IEC 17025 certification process. This standard governs the requirements for testing and calibration of laboratories. The facility aims to have full accreditation by September 2019.