Degima and CTC presents the advances in ACORN, a European marine renewable energy project

28 October 15

The ACORN project tested new coatings to prevent corrosion in structures designed to produce this energy

Degima and CTC (Technology Center for Components in Cantabria), have shown for the first time the “promising” progress achieved in the research project ACORN, in which new coatings are tested to combat corrosion and biofouling, so as to reduce the negative effect of cavitation in turbines and marine energy converters.

Although the project does not end until February 2016, it is a “very promising” results that would serve companies in the sector to improve its products and its competitiveness. Alvaro Rodriguez, coordinator of the CTC Marine Renewable Energy, said that “the modifications that have been raised in this project are radical.”

News of the investigation were presented to more than 40 enterprises and national and international research in the first project workshop, held last Wednesday in Santander. Data shown are aimed at finding a lasting solution to patentable and that offers specific advantages for fixed offshore structures such as wind turbines and energy converters waves.

The use of non-polluting substances that prevent corrosion by biofouling (phenomenon caused by the adhesion of living structures) is one of the focuses of research. The other is the use of very hard materials that fight erosion caused by cavitation (wear and tear of the implosion of the bubbles generated by turbines with its own activity). “We hope that at the end of the project, in February 2016, we have two coatings that will solve these problems,” said Rodriguez.

1.3 million budget

The ACORN project has a budget of 1.342 million euros and is part of the SME instrument of the Framework Programme of the European Union (FP7), a program so that even small and medium enterprises to address innovative processes. “The advantage that gives Europe, provide an overall view and allows to position internationally,” stated Luis San Segundo, CFO Degima, for whom this project is “an opportunity” to incorporate your business “added values until now we did not. ”

The collaboration between the CTC and Degima illustrates perfectly successful alliance between innovative SMEs and the only Cantabrian regional Technology Center case. Between them there is a framework agreement to work together on innovative projects. “For us, participation in this project is something strategic,” said Luis San Segundo. “This support will allow us to be more competitive, that marine energies are less burdensome and which eventually can be implemented with the benefit for society,” he added. Degima and CTC are the Spanish representation by a seven project partners from five countries.


The consortium four companies and three research centers in Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Denmark are involved. Components Technology Center is working specifically in the part of the project dedicated to reducing erosion of the materials produced by cavitation. In addition to the corrosion tests on various coatings, CTC researchers have made a hydrodynamic numerical modeling of a turbine. Thus, they can predict where, when and under what conditions operating cavitation occurs. This work allows the unique technology center in the region continue to develop two of its more established internationally and are corrosion studies and numerical modeling techniques lines.

The ACORN project (Advanced Coatings for Offshore Renewable Energy) investigates the development of protective coatings against marine corrosion. The growth of this market is related to the construction of new structures ranging from the foundation of the offshore wind turbines to power devices wave. Currently, systems are required with a duration longer than 20 years to provide reliable protection against corrosion and biofouling crevice corrosion that occurs mainly in fixed offshore structures. To combat the effects of biofouling, the ACORN project uses the technology of thermal spray aluminum (TSA). Thus it provides a coating matrix with a half life at sea over two decades. The team proposed to the porous aluminum matrix anti-fouling, substances friendly to the environment, which may be gradually exposed to the active surface of the coating. In addition, the project also develops resistant to corrosion and cavitation erosion phenomena with the aim of achieving an average life of over 10 years in the coatings of tidal power generators coatings.

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