The University of Exeter and ship repair and engineering services provider A&P Falmouth Ltd created a partnership over several years to generate new ideas and grow the economy in Cornwall.
Collaboration started with the creation of a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP), which helped A&P develop their renewables business. A second project developing and testing Witt Energy’s revolutionary device, generates renewable power from the movement of a ship.
The key academic partner is Exeter’s Professor Lars Johanning from the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) group which has research expertise in resource assessment, offshore equipment reliability, marine operations and policy.
The ORE group developed the Dynamic Marine Component Test Facility, or DMaC, a large-scale component test rig located within the docks by A&P Falmouth. DMaC allows the testing of marine power cables, umbilicals and components to help identify early faults in equipment and allow improvements before deployment or manufacture.
This research is vitally important for the marine renewable energy sector as it can reduce the chance of equipment breakage and prevent loss of service.
“Working with the University of Exeter has proven to be incredibly beneficial for A&P Falmouth. We have established ourselves as leaders in the marine renewables sector and hope to make this a permanent feature for the South West with continued collaboration with Exeter.” Paul Weston, Renewable Energy Technical Manager, A&P Falmouth
In addition, the Falmouth Bay Test (FaBTest) site was developed by the University along with Falmouth Harbour Commissioners following discussions with businesses in the local supply chain including A&P Falmouth. Supported by the Regional Growth Fund, FaBTest gives wave energy developers a low risk and low cost site to test new marine renewable energy devices, with operational support from the University’s ORE group.
A&P is now the leading renewable Fabricator and Engineering Services provider in the South West and is working with several device developers both in the UK and Overseas including Seatricity Ltd. Both A&P and Exeter’s ORE group aim to build further collaboration to continue to support the UK’s marine renewable sector. Originating in Cornwall, this regional partnership boasts a global reach and has created multiple opportunities for its beneficiaries.