A 3D printed anchor and a self-charging mooring line monitoring device are two of eight innovative technologies announced as winners of a technology acceleration competition, funded by the Scottish Government and run by the Carbon Trust’s Floating Wind Joint Industry Project (Floating Wind JIP). The competition was designed to address four key industry challenge areas, that need to be overcome to commercialise floating wind.
The four areas were monitoring and inspection, mooring systems, heavy lift maintenance and tow to port maintenance. The eight technologies will receive a share of £1 million from the Scottish Government, in addition to support from the 14 g offshore wind developers represented in the Floating Wind JIP. The companies and their winning technologies are:
Fugro, AS Mosley, and University of Strathclyde (monitoring and inspection)
Condition monitoring software which 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 (monitoring and inspection)
A load monitoring system to identify stresses on mooring lines and times when maintenance is needed. The monitoring system will be integrated into an existing spring, which also acts as a dampener on mooring lines, and is powered by movement of the lines.
Dublin Offshore (mooring systems)
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 University of Exeter (mooring systems)
A new pressure-based dampener which sits between the platform and mooring line to reduce the load on floating platforms.
RCAM Technologies and the Floating Wind Technology Company (mooring systems)
A concrete anchor, produced using 3D printing technology, which is sunk and then embedded in the seabed through suction.
Vryhof (mooring systems)
An adjustable lock on the seabed used to manipulate the tension of the mooring lines. This is an alternative to a winch sitting on the turbine platform, and enables vessels to adjust the tension of mooring lines at a safe distance from the platform.
Conbit (heavy lift maintenance)
A temporary crane which sits on top of the turbine (the nacelle) to winch parts up and down for maintenance. This could enable larger turbines to be serviced offshore than is currently feasible.
Aker Solutions (tow to port maintenance)
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. This will also enable an array of floating wind turbines to remain operational when one floating platform is removed for maintenance.