Blue Wind: Innovative solutions for the next generation of offshore floating wind farms
Offshore wind power is increasing in popularity due to its potential to harvest wind energy with less acoustic and visual disturbance. Floating offshore wind deployment faces more challenging conditions compared with bottom fixed and land based wind power. This results in higher costs associated with production, installation and maintenance.
BlueWind's goal is to lower the building, installation and maintenance cost of floating offshore wind by developing the next generation design for offshore floating wind farms with turbine sizes of 12MW and larger. The project addresses key research issues related to BlueWind's solutions.
Responsible organization: Kåre Olav Krogenes (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Partners: NORCE Technology Marine Energy Test Center (Metcentre)
Project period: 2020-2022
Type: Innovation project for the business community
Public funding: NOK 2.5 million
Project number: 313935
The development and exploitation of offshore wind will increasingly occur in deep water areas far from shore and thus require floating solutions. The main challenge associated with floating offshore wind power are the high costs throughout the value chain. Huge improvement potential is associated with efficient production, assembly, installation, operation and maintenance, in order to take projects to a profitable level.
The state of the art for floating wind turbines is that tower and floater form a permanently fixed structure. Installation and maintenance is dependent on the use of large heavy lifting vessels and deep sea port facilities. Bluewind's planned innovation is to incorporate the functionality to raise and lower the tower part of the wind turbine prior to and after installation. This provides the functionality to bring the blades and nacelle down close to the sea surface. Combined with novel, easier and quicker methods that allow for blade installation and removal, maintenance and equipment exchange operations can then be performed without needing the heavy lifting equipment operating at full hub height, and removing the need for a deep wateer port facility. The result is a lower LCOE for the turbine.
The R&D investigations conducted by Blue Wind together with NORCE in the TRL1 phase have also identified some unique and novel challenges that need to be resolved:
1. Need for a reliable means to lower and raise the tower
2. A locking mechanism to hold the tower permanently fixed to the floater structure during operation.