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LORC tests and demonstrates technology for harvesting renewable energy offshore

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Meeting industry’s needs for environmental testing of large components for offshore use is now one step closer with the ordering of a climatic chamber for a new LORC test centre.

Read more about the environmental testing of structures here

 

 

 

Future operation and maintenance vessels

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torsdag 15. november 2012

Carbon Trust Offshore Wind Accelerator – Access competition

Today’s offshore wind farms are typically less than 25km offshore in relatively benign sea conditions and consist of up to 100 turbines. Maintenance is possible in boats about 90% of the time when wave heights are up to about 1.5m. Round 3 wind farms will be as far as 300km offshore in rougher sea conditions and may consist of as many as 2,500 turbines. At these sites, today’s access systems would only allow transfers about 210 days a year. The aim of the competition was to find concepts that can make transfers possible for a minimum of 300 days a year at a significant wave height of 3m.

By Tea Tramontana
With operation and maintenance accounting for 25% of the cost of energy generated by offshore wind turbines, access and availability have become the key words. Moving towards the UK round 3 with new wind farms which are much larger and further from shore than today, operation and maintenance teams will meet rough seas and new kinds of foundations and substructures.

Add to this a future with many more turbines and a six-fold increase in the required maintenance visits by service technicians. This highlights the need for safer transfer systems, vessels and launch and recovery systems. Aiming at accelerating development of future O&M strategies, the UK based Carbon Trust, which is a co-funded industry collaboration, launched an access competition, asking developers worldwide for safe transfer systems, vessels with improved seakeeping and optimized logistics for maintenance.

13 designs were selected from the 450 submissions. Having announced the awarded concepts in September 2011, Carbon Trust has since supported the development of these 13 promising ideas.

OceanWise takes a close look at how the financial and technical support has helped to accelerate the development of future technology. Four of the six awarded O&M vessels for transporting and transferring personnel and equipment from permanent bases or mother ships to turbines moved forward with computer simulations and model testing.

Illustration: Nauti-craft

Illustration: Nauti-craft

Illustration: Umoe Mandal

Illustration: Fjellstrand

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