Both Innovation and R&D are part of the fundamental pillars of TSI’s general strategy for promoting the growth of the company. TSI’s idea of business is driven to be at the forefront of the technology and recognized as a provider of value-added services in the national & international market. This approach represents a great opportunity for the improvement of the capabilities and knowledge of TSI, having a direct impact on the customer services as well as opening new business opportunities and market niches.
Thanks to the intense work carried out during the health pandemic produced by COVID-19 in the last year 2020, TSI will have the pleasure of participating in five innovative research and development projects over the next four years. Four of these research and development projects will be funded by the Horizon 2020 and EDIDP programs, both promoted by the European Commission. While on the other hand, the fifth research and development project will be funded by the CDTI (Spanish Center for Technological and Industrial Development) through the MISIONES program. This fifth project is focused on the production, storage and distribution of green hydrogen generated by floating wind and solar platforms.
This fact represents a milestone and an award in itself for a SME like TSI. Thanks to the experience gained over the last 11 years in European R&D projects, it has been possible to be part of relevant consortiums and prepared winning proposals, playing an important role as a partner and work package leader in the current R&D projects. Moreover, through this milestone, TSI has renewed the Innovative SME seal given by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation to companies that invest in innovation and R&D.
As planned, the topics of the five research projects are aligned with the strategic research lines of the company established two years ago, which can be found on the R&D department section on the TSI website and are summarized below:
- Underwater Radiated Noise and its Mitigation by means of engineering
- Cavitation Detection by Vibration Monitoring
- Monitoring of Industrial Assets and Application of Industry 4.0 technologies.
- Maintenance 4.0 based on predictive maintenance
- Application of FRP materials for the design of marine structures as ships and offshore renewable platforms.
The five R&D projects abovementioned are the following ones: SATURN, SEA DEFENCE, FIBRE4YARDS, FIBREGY and OCEANH2. The first two projects are related to the underwater radiated noise emitted by vessels, including noise mitigation and propeller cavitation; while the other three R&D projects are focused on structural health monitoring, predictive maintenance, application of industry 4.0 technologies and use of composite materials in vessels and floating offshore structures.
The overall budget of TSI for the five R&D projects is up to 2,746,000 €, distributed according to the scope assigned to each one of the them.
The objectives, consortium and role of TSI in each of the five R&D projects are briefly described below.
- SATURN PROJECT (Solutions at Underwater Radiated Noise, 48 months, February 2021-January 2025)
Noise pollution prevents marine species from reproducing, communicating and hunting, causing health problems and even the survival of the sea fauna. The SATURN project (Grant Number 101006443) is an initiative to achieve a quieter and more environmentally friendly maritime transport sector. To achieve this goal, SATURN involves experts in two different areas: biology and engineering which will try to reach trade-offs for the adoption of measures with a dual purpose: On one side, developing measures with the aim to reduce the underwater radiated noise generated by the maritime shipping industry and their environmental impact on the marine fauna. On the other side, the adoption of these measures needs to be viable from the technical and economical point of view for the shipowners as well as for the shipyards and auxiliary industry responsible for the design and construction of ships.
SATURN, coordinated by the University of Cork (UCC), is made up by a multidisciplinary consortium consisting of marine biologists, naval architects, and standard bodies working side-by-side to create and test innovative solutions for reducing the most harmful effects of underwater noise in the marine ecosystem. The Consortium of the project is composed of 19 partners from 10 European countries: University of Cork, University of Aarhus, Bureau Veritas, CETENA, CEFAS, DNV GL, JASCO, MARIN, Naval Group, TNO, PLOCAN, Quiet Oceans, TIHO, TSI, Wartsila, University of Leiden, UPC, CNR, and Universidad de La Laguna.
The role of TSI in this project will be mainly focused on the determination of the ship acoustic signatures using different standards and methodologies, comparing the differences between the results with respect to the existing procedures with the final goal of achieving a harmonization of the URN measurement. This task is important to facilitate the understanding of the underwater radiated noise measurement procedures used by the maritime sector. Apart from that, the data resulting from the experimental measurements will be used for the development of an ISO standard for shallow waters, because there is no such a standard at the present time. Moreover, it will be analyzed the feasibility of applying an alternative method to determine the characteristics of the ship noise propagation using experimental measurements. Finally, TSI will develop a methodology based on on-board noise and vibration measurements to control the acoustic signature behavior of the vessels through the life cycle of the ship, which can lead to a cost reduction of the measurements to determinate the ship acoustic signature. This will enable the evaluation of the URN emission for the different ship operating conditions and the impact of URN pollution in the marine fauna of the oceans.
- SEA DEFENCE Project (Survivability, Electrification, Automation, Detectability, Enabling Foresight of European Naval Capabilities in Extreme conditions, 30 months, November 2020- April 2023)
The main objective of the SEA DEFENCE project is to carry out a feasibility study to evaluate disruptive technologies to be applied for the next generation of European naval platforms. This project is funded by the European Union through EDIDP (European Defence Industrial Development Programme), TSI was subcontracted by the Spanish shipyard NAVANTIA to carry out the tasks corresponding to the study of engineering measures applicable for the reduction of acoustic detectability for the future naval platforms, thanks to the wide experience of TSI in the field of noise and vibration for both military and civil sectors.
The SEA DEFENCE project consortium is made up of twelve partners from eight European countries (Spain, France, Sweden, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark and Germany), which will be supported by six different Ministries of Defence. DAMEN is responsible for the coordination of the project, which will work in close collaboration with shipyards of recognized prestige, research centers, and engineering companies such as NAVANTIA, FINCANTIERI, NAVAL GROUP, SAAB KOCKUMS, SEA EUROPE, LÜRSSEN DEFENCE, THYSSENKRUPP MARINE SYSTEMS, CTN, TNO, MARIN and OMT. In this way, TSI will be part of the group of subcontracted companies by the project partners, such as the Spanish company SAES.
TSI has an extensive experience in the field of noise and vibrations control as well as in silent vessels design, offering its technical knowledge in the development of innovative technologies to reduce the acoustic detectability of the naval defence platforms. For such purpose, the technologies with the most demanding requirements in terms of Comfort, Noise, Vibrations and Underwater Radiated Noise required by the IMO, ILO, Classification Societies, ISO and ICES (International Council for the Exploration of the Sea) will be audited. With the aim to promote the development of these technologies in the future, TSI will be dealing with the evaluation of the acoustic signatures (viability, advantages and market impact of the different technologies), along with the potential of the available tools for the prediction of the acoustic signatures.
- FIBRE4YARDS Project (FIBRE composite manufacturing technologies FOR the automation and modular construction in shipYARDS, 36 months, January 2021-December 2023)
The main objective of the FIBRE4YARDS project (H2020, Grant Number 101006860) is to promote the European global leadership in shipbuilding and maintenance of FRP-based shipyards, through implementation of the Shipyard 4.0 strategy and the introduction of innovative advanced technologies related to the manufacturing processes of FRP vessels. This is of critical importance for the validation and consolidation of this technology in order to maintain the preponderance of the European naval industry in the design and construction of high added value ships.
The consortium of FIBRE4YARDS project coordinated by CIMNE, which will work side by side with a multidisciplinary group of entities from 6 European countries. The 13 partners participating in this innovative project are divided into different stakeholders from the maritime sector as research centers (CIMNE, INEGI, IRT Jules Verne), one University (POLITECHNIKA LODZKA), one shipyard (NAVAL GROUP), one classification society (BV), and several SMEs with relevant experience in the sector and capabilities (COMPASS, CURVE WORKS, IRURENA, 10XL, L-UP, ATEKNEA, and TSI).
The role of TSI in the FIBRE4YARDS project consists in leading one of the 8 work packages in which the project is divided, as well as to intensively contribute to other 3 work packages. In particular, TSI will contribute to the development and implementation of a IoT-based monitoring system focused on production control and predictive maintenance of the machinery involved in the manufacturing processes for the construction of FRP vessels proposed by different entities of the consortium. On the other hand, TSI will be also responsible for the design of an FRP-based ship (25 m to 49 m length) implementing the manufacturing process adopted in the project. Apart from that, TSI will provide its experience in the field of vibrations and noise control to measure and characterize the dynamic properties of FRP panels with several vibration damping treatments, as well as in the demonstrators manufactured in the framework of the project. The demonstrators will be built with the manufacturing methodologies adopted by the project consortium, enabling the validation of the monitoring system based on IoT proposed by TSI. This project defines the strategy adopted by TSI since long time ago with respect to structural health monitoring and predictive maintenance.
- FIBREGY project (Development, engineering, production and life-cycle management of improved FIBRE-based material solutions for structure and functional components of large offshore wind enerGY and tidal power platform, 36 months, january 2021-december 2023)
The main objective of the FIBREGY project (Grant number 952966) is to study the feasibility of applying composite materials in the design and construction of certain fibre-based structural elements of renewable marine platforms. This is done to take advantage of their important advantages such as their good fatigue resistance, weight reduction, lower environmental impact, reduction of OPEX, etc., but, above all, of the absence of corrosion.
The project is formed by a multidisciplinary consortium of 12 international entities from seven countries of the European Union, which are coordinated by CIMNE. This consortium is participated by two medium-sized shipyards (TUCO, IXBLUE), one classification society (BV), two consulting and engineering companies with expertise in the maritime sector (COMPASS, TSI), two developers of marine renewable technology (ENEROCEAN, TIDETEC), one company specialized in marine paintings (CORSO), as well as three research centers (INEGY, CIMNE, AVK) and one university (ULIM) of recognized prestige. The two technologies explored in this project can be stated as follows: the semi-submersible W2 Power wind turbine owned by ENEROCEAN, and the TIDETEC tidal energy renewable offshore platform.
In this project, TSI will act as coordinator of one of the work packages, where it will be in charge of redesigning the fiber-based elements of the tidal power generation device, mainly the housing of the TIDETEC tidal turbine. Apart from that, TSI will be responsible for the development of a structural health monitoring (SHM) system to evaluate the damage state of the fiber-based structural components integrated into the W2Power offshore platform, which are in this case the two towers that link the wind turbines with the semi-submersible. Additionally, TSI will participate in the execution of other tasks corresponding to other work packages such as the development of multifunctional composite materials, as well as the validation of the structural health monitoring systems during the sea trials of the 1:6 scale prototype of the W2Power tower.
- OCEANH2 Proyect (GENERATION, STORAGE AND DISTRIBUTION OF OFFSHORE GREEN HYDROGEN, 36 months, november 2020-october 2023)
The main objective of the OCEANH2 project is to design and optimize a generation, storage and distribution offshore plant of green hydrogen, that is modular, flexible and smart. The plant is to be powered by offshore renewable energy, combining both floating wind and floating photovoltaic technologies. This is expected to allow for cost reduction forecasts and ensuring economic viability for positioning green hydrogen as a potential vector of the energy transition.
The Consortium of the OCEANH2 project is coordinated by the company ACCIONA INDUSTRIAL. The consortium is made up of 8 large and small companies such as ACCIONA INDUSTRIAL, ACCIONA CONSTRUCCIÓN, ACCIONA INGENIERÍA, REDEXIS, WUNDER-HEXICON, BLUENEWABLES and TSI, which work side by side with 12 research centers (UPNA, CARTIF, CEDEX, CSIC, CEHIPAR, CIMNE, AICIA, UHU, CNH2, IHCANTABRIA and FUAC).
The role of TSI in OCEANH2 project consists in leading one of the 6 project activities, which is focused on the monitorization of platforms and offshore hydrogen electrolyzers, as well as to intensively contribute to the rest of activities of the project from its knowledge of structural design and dynamic analysis. More specifically, TSI will contribute to the development and implementation of a wireless monitoring system based on IoT and machine learning technologies focused on production control tasks and predictive maintenance of the machinery and different components of the generation, storage and distribution plant. On the other side, TSI will also design the two floating platforms involved in the project (floating twin turbine and floating photovoltaic), giving support to the partners devoted to the technology of renewable energy generation platforms. Eventually, TSI will carry out a critical study of the FRP-based materials that could be applied in the design of the aforementioned floating platforms.
As abovementioned, thanks to the five projects described above and other internal R&D projects, TSI has been granted for the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation as an INNOVATIVE SME. This award is a mark of recognition for companies that carry out activities in the field of research, development and innovation. Indeed, it is a public recognition for the efforts made by the institution to stay at the forefront of the innovation and invest in R&D. We hope that this award combined with the high participation in R&D projects over the next four years, it will be an incentive for the actual and future clients of the institution to trust even more in the capabilities and engineering solutions offered by TSI.