Against the backdrop of increasing energy demands, the threat of climate change and dwindling fuel reserves, finding reliable, diverse, sustainable/renewable, affordable energy resources has become a priority for many countries. Marine energy conversion systems are at the forefront of providing such a resource. Most marine renewable energy conversion systems require tribological components to convert wind or tidal streams to rotational motion for generating electricity while wave machines typically use oscillating hinge or piston within cylinder geometries to promote reciprocating linear motion. This paper looks at the tribology of three green marine energy systems, offshore wind, tidal and wave machines. Areas covered include lubrication and contamination, bearing and gearbox issues, biofouling, cavitation erosion, tribocorrosion, condition monitoring as well as design trends and loading conditions associated with tribological components. Current research thrusts are highlighted along with areas needing research as well as addressing present-day issues related to the tribology of offshore energy conversion technologies.
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