The eight winners of a competition striving to address and overcome key technical challenges that relate to commercialising floating wind have been announced.
The Floating Wind Technology Acceleration Competition, run by the Carbon Trust’s Floating Wind Joint Industry Project (JIP), will support technologies addressing monitoring and inspection, mooring systems, heavy lift maintenance and tow to port maintenance. The eight successful projects, which include a 3D printed anchor and self-charging mooring line monitoring device, will receive a share of £1mn Scottish government funding.
Scotland’s Minister for Energy, Paul Wheelhouse, said: “Given Scotland’s unique deep water profile, floating offshore wind will undoubtedly play a huge role in our future energy system, as we transition to a net zero economy and we know that key overseas markets are also looking to exploit floating wind technology to meet their own energy needs. The innovative solutions developed by the competition winners will help reduce costs in the sector and could allow floating wind technology to reach commercial scale deployment earlier than previously anticipated and that could prove vital as Scotland and other coastal nations seek to head off the climate emergency.”
The eight winning projects are:
- Fugro, AS Mosley and University of Strathclyde are looking to address monitoring and inspection with conditioning monitoring software that uses readily available acceleration and motion data points from floating offshore wind structures to extrapolate how the wider structure responds to stress.
- Technology from Ideas and WFS Technologies are also tackling monitoring inspection with a load monitoring system that identifies stresses on mooring lines and times when maintenance is needed.
- Dublin Offshore will address mooring systems through a load reduction device that sits partway up the mooring line and pivots in the water to minimise movement of the floating platform during wave events.
- Intelligent Mooring Systems and the University of Exeter are another tackling mooring systems with a new pressure-based dampener that sits between the platform and mooring line to reduce the load on floating platforms.
- RCAM Technologies and the Floating Wind Technology Company are also targeting mooring systems with a 3D printed concrete anchor sunk and then embedded into the seabed through suction.
- Vryhof is the final winner addressing mooring systems with an adjustable lock on the seabed used to manipulate the tension of the mooring lines.
- Conbit will target heavy lift maintenance with a temporary crane sat on top of the turbine to winch parts up and down for maintenance.
- Aker Solutions is to address tow to port maintenance with a splice box connecting two dynamic array cables and allowing them to be wet-stored on the seabed when a turbine is towed to port. An array of floating wind turbines could remain operational this way, when one floating platform has to be removed for maintenance.