Marine and Hydrokinetic Technology Readiness Level
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This field indicates the stage of development/deployment that technologies, which are undergoing partial or full-scale device testing, are currently in.
- 1 TRL 1-3: Discovery / Concept Definition / Early Stage Development, Design, and Engineering
- 2 TRL 4: Proof of Concept
- 3 TRL 5/6: System Integration and Technology Laboratory Demonstration
- 4 TRL 7/8: Open Water System Testing, Demonstration, and Operation
- 5 TRL 9: Commercial-Scale Production / Application
TRL 1-3: Discovery / Concept Definition / Early Stage Development, Design, and Engineering
The purpose of this stage is to evaluate, to the largest extent possible, the scientific or technical merit and feasibility of ideas that appear to have commercial potential.
• TRL 1/2: Scientific research begins to be translated into applied research and development where basic principles are observed and reported. Technology concepts and applications are formulated and investigated through analytic studies and in-depth investigations of principal design considerations. This level is characterized by paper studies, concept exploration, and planning.
• TRL 3: At this level, active research is initiated, including engineering studies and laboratory studies to physically validate analytical predictions of separate elements of the technology.
The purpose of this stage is to evaluate, insofar as possible, the scientific or technical merit and feasibility of ideas that appear to have commercial potential.
TRL 4: Proof of Concept
This TRL represents early stage proof-of-concept system or component development, testing, and concept validation. In this stage, critical technology elements are developed and tested in a laboratory environment. It is envisioned that scale models will be at a 1:10 scale or smaller.
• At this level, basic technological components of a subscale model are integrated to validate design predictions and system-level functionality. The models, or critical subsystems, are tested in a laboratory environment.
TRL 5/6: System Integration and Technology Laboratory Demonstration
At this TRL, device-, system-, and subsystem-level interfacing/integration testing represent a vital stage in technology development, and must be demonstrated. Models should be at a relevant scale (1:1–1:5) to reflect the challenges and realities of the full-scale (1:1) system. Model testing is to be performed at a test facility capable of producing simulated waves/currents and other operational conditions while monitoring device response and performance. Furthermore, the device’s foundation concept shall be incorporated and demonstrated.
• TRL 5: At this level, basic technological components are fabricated at a scale relevant to full-scale and integrated to establish and verify subsystem and system-level functionality and preparation for testing in a simulated environment.
• TRL 6: At this level, a representative model or prototype system at a scale relevant to full-scale, which is beyond that of TRL 5, is tested in a relevant environment. This level represents a major step up in a technology's demonstrated readiness and risk mitigation leading to open water testing.
TRL 7/8: Open Water System Testing, Demonstration, and Operation
At this stage, the device model scale is expected to be at or near full scale (1:1–1:2). Initially, testing may be performed in water at a relatively benign location, with the expectation that testing will then be performed in a fully exposed, open water environment where representative operating environments can be experienced. The final foundation/mooring design shall be incorporated into model testing at this stage.
• TRL 7: At this level, the prototype scale components and subsystems are fabricated and integrated to establish and verify subsystem and system level functionality and preparation for testing in an open water operational environment to verify expected operation and fine tune the design prior to deployment in an operational demonstration project.
• TRL 8: At this level, the prototype in its final form (at or near full scale) is to be tested and qualified in an open water environment under all expected operating conditions to demonstrate readiness for commercial deployment in a demonstration project. Testing should include extreme conditions.
TRL 9: Commercial-Scale Production / Application
This stage represents an in-service application of the technology in its final form and under mission condition.
• At this level, the actual, commercial-scale system is proven through successful mission operations, whereby it is fielded and being used in commercial application.
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