Product environmental design

Resource security is a growing issue for low-carbon infrastructures that depend on a combination of raw materials (rare earth metals, lithium, cobalt), copper and aluminium. All components and materials in a turbine should be designed for durability, recycling and disassembly. A balance must be found between cost, durability, extending the lifetime of components and the ability to recover materials at end-of-use. This requires material and component design that enables disassembly, recycling and, following that, the use of recycled materials in low-carbon infrastructures. Design for maintaining the value of components and materials for longer offers opportunity to reduce costs and opens new business opportunities. Material recycling solutions and tools that incorporate CO2 emissions into the design are technically available but too costly in practice and generally not yet deployed at a large scale.

Type of Entry: Innovation Area

Requires implementation offshore: Yes

Start TRL: TRL 2

Target TRL: TRL 4

Enabler: Academia

Beneficiary: Original Equipment Manufacturers

Strategic Outcome: Enabling disruptive innovation

Forecast Start: 2022

Forecatest Finish: 2023

Potential to Reduce LCOE: Low

UK Benefit: High

Case for Intervention: High

HSE impact: High

LCOE Notes: Extending the lifetime of components can increase return on investment and material recycling should reduce decommissioning and resource recovery costs and/or open new business opportunities.

UK Benefit - notes: Academic excellence in material design and recycling technologies is high.

Intervention - notes: Under current market conditions of high material recycling costs and underdeveloped markets for secondary resources there is little incentive for Owner Operators to demand components and materials designed for recycling. Regulation and/or incentives are needed to spark demand from operators, and the R&D requires cooperation between OEMs and Academia.

HSE impact notes: High impact on environmental issues and it is yet to become a mainstream approach to design process.