Deliverable D3.2 - Structured Innovation design tool - alpha version

The Structured Innovation (SI) design tool forms part of the DTOceanPlus suite of second-generation open source design tools for ocean energy. The SI tool comprises innovation methodologies which can enhance concept creation and selection in ocean energy systems (including sub-systems, energy capture devices and arrays), enabling a structured approach to address complex ocean energy engineering challenges where design options are numerous, and thus it can facilitate efficient evolution from concept to commercialisation.

Deliverable D3.2 “Structured Innovation design tool – Alpha version” of the DTOceanPlus project includes the details of the Structured Innovation design tool, and it represents the result of the work developed during task T3.2 of the project. The present document summarises both the functionalities and supporting theory, as well as the more technical aspects of the code implemented for this tool.

The Structured Innovation design tool within the DTOceanPlus suite is one of a kind beyond the current state-of-the-art, that will enable the transfer and adaptation of the QFD/TRIZ and FMEA methodologies (described below) to the ocean energy sector. For a sector such as ocean energy, where the number of design options is still very high, the open-source Structured Innovation design tool is needed to help users to understand the complexity and interdependencies of the engineering challenge – resulting in a more efficient evolution from concept to commercialisation.

  • • The Quality Function Deployment (QFD) methodology defines the innovation problem and identifies trade-offs in the system.
  • • The Theory of inventive problem solving (TRIZ), a systematic inventive problem-solving methodology, generates potential solutions to the often-contradictory requirements raised from the QFD.
  • • The output from the integrated QFD/TRIZ component comprises of design requirements along with target engineering metrics.
  • • The Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA) assesses the technical risks associated with the proposed design concepts.

The SI tool produces a set of metrics and assessments; a conflicts and impact report; and a design report. The metrics and assessments include both ideality (a measure of what might be theoretically possible to achieve) and development values (how difficult it would be to implement the selected solution), relevant to the benchmark assessments of ideal innovative concepts for wave and tidal renewable energy projects at different stages of development. The design report then includes requirements, specifications and gap analyses.

The SI tool can be used either as a standalone tool or within the framework of design tools of the DTOceanPlus project. It offers two main design modes, a new concept mode – to give an estimate of costs and performance at an early stage in the concept creation / design process, and an improvement cycle mode – for more detailed assessment of innovation within an existing device/project development path.

The Business Logic of the code, comprising of the functions of the SI tool, has been implemented in Python 3. An Application Programming Interface (API) was developed following the Open API specifications, in order to interact and communicate with the other modules of the DTOceanPlus design suite.

The Graphical User Interface (GUI) of the tool is developed in harmony with the other modules, in Vue.js, allowing the user to interact easily with the Structured Innovation design tool, inputting data and visualising results.

The Business Logic has been verified through the implementation of unit tests, guaranteeing easy maintainability for future developments of the tool. The preliminary tests and verifications performed are presented in this document.

Examples of the capabilities of the SI tool are included throughout the document.

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