MCTS El Bocal

Two British universities will conduct a trial at the MCTS El Bocal

CTC’s marine laboratory continues to arouse interest among European researchers involved in marine renewable energy technologies. The MCTS El Bocal continues to receive test applications even after the end of the second call of the Marinet2 project, as the most demanded installation in the network. The latest approved proposal comes from the Departments of Bioscience and Chemistry at the British universities of Manchester and Sheffield Hallam.

These two UK research centres will evaluate the performance of a new generation of biocide-free antifouling coatings. The project is called Biocat and will test the capacity of microorganisms to give materials specific properties to repel marine pollution. In this sense, the testing conditions offered by Cantabrian infrastructure are a powerful ally in determining whether the development works. The test specimens for this trial will be installed in June and will remain for five months in the facility managed jointly by the CTC and the Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO). If the results are as expected, it will be the last validation test to which this antifouling system is subjected before market launch.

The MCTS El Bocal is the only laboratory in Spain and one of the few on the continent that enables studying the behaviour of different materials and coatings against the effects of marine corrosion and bio-fouling in an entirely natural marine environment, identical to that suffered by offshore structures.

The facility, which offers four study conditions (submerged, intertidal, splash and atmospheric), has established itself as a highly sought-after test site in Europe. In fact, in this call, the Cantabrian infrastructure has already received two requests to carry out studies.

Currently, Marinet2 allocates 1.2 million euros to free laboratory, tank and open sea tests. Thirty-six marine renewable energy developers benefit from this project, which is an essential boost for developments related to offshore wind and wave power systems. Since its launch in 2017, the project has granted 3.5 million euros in free access for testing to almost 100 users.

The fourth call for MaRINET2 applications will open on 15 August 2019, with a webinar to assist applicants scheduled for early September.