Sea-trial verification of a novel system for monitoring biofouling and testing anti-fouling coatings in highly energetic environments targeted by the marine renewable energy industry

Andrew Want, Michael C. Bell, Robert Ewan Harris, Mark Q. Hull, Caitlin R. Long, Joanne S. Porter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
9 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

A novel system was developed to deploy settlement panels to monitor biofouling growth in situ and evaluate antifouling coatings at depths representative of operational conditions of full-scale marine renewable energy devices. Biofouling loading, species diversity, and succession were assessed at depths ranging from 25-40 m at four tests sites in Orkney (UK) featuring extreme wave and tidal current exposure to more sheltered conditions. Evaluations were carried out over a period of 8 months with intermediate retrieval of samples after 3 months. Early pioneer fouling communities, comprised of colonial hydroids, were succeeded by tube-forming amphipods across sites while solitary tunicates dominated in greater shelter. The highest biofouling loading was observed on high-density polyethylene (HDPE) panels (6.17 kg m−2) compared with coated steel (3.34 kg m−2) panels after 8 months. Distinct assemblages were present at exposed vs sheltered sites. Better understanding of fouling and antifouling strategies may provide guidance to more effectively manage biofouling impacts in this sector.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)433-451
Number of pages19
JournalBiofouling
Volume37
Issue number4
Early online date14 Jun 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • biofouling
  • marine renewable energy
  • ocean energy
  • settlement panels
  • tidal
  • wave

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Aquatic Science

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