Flowing with the tide

Renewable energies committee on marine energy issues its first publication

By Philippa Martin-King

One of the more recent of the IEC TCs (Technical Committees), TC 114, is responsible for International Standards for marine energy conversion systems. It has issued its first publication, specifying the most important renewable energy terms relating to ocean and marine energy.

Ocean energy buoy. Ocean energy buoy.

A first publication

At the end of 2011, IEC TC 114: Marine energy - Wave, tidal and other water current converters, issued its first publication, IEC/TS 62600-1Marine energy - Wave, tidal and other water current converters - Part 1: Terminology.

Facilitate communication between organizations

IEC TS (Technical Specification) 62600-1 defines the terms used in the marine renewable energy industry and relevant to ocean and marine energy. These renewable sources include wave, tidal, current, and other water current energy converters. Providing uniform terminology for use at an international level helps organizations and individuals to communicate with each other and thus facilitates interaction between them.

Not necessarily the same definition

Ghanashyam Ranjitkar, from Natural Resources Canada, Project Leader for IEC/TS 62600-1, commented on how the different people in the team, all very familiar with the context, had different understandings of terminology. "It was interesting during the process of developing this TS how even established terms were understood differently by the experts in the field." He illustrated his comment saying that, for example, "added mass was modified probably 8 to 10 times until we agreed on the final definition". 

Ranjitkar commented that the challenge of working on this type of project was to keep the definition concise and he was happy about the consensus they had obtained. "Finally, agreeing on the definition for added mass pleased the team."

Add clarification

Terms are not always used consistently across the globe and one of the aims of the TS is to add clarification. One example, he gave was the terms array and farm which are used interchangeably. "This TS will certainly help to clarify that", said Ranjitkar.

Illustrate with figures

Ranjitkar is particularly proud of the three figures that are included in the TS. They form the basis for clearer understanding of the terms used. "I believe", said Ranjitkar "that this publication will help provide better knowledge of the emerging sector of marine energy and remove any ambiguity that may have risen."

Way forward to help future work

Having set down the basics in this first publication Ranjitkar says it will also help in their future work in defining further TC 114 publications. "I am proud that I had such a dedicated hard working team. They provided valuable time in preparing this TS", added Ranjitkar.

Ocean energy buoy. Ocean energy buoy.
The IEC TC 114 team that worked on the first publication. The IEC TC 114 team that worked on the first publication.
The power of the ocean's waves. The power of the ocean's waves.