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Optimalisation of maintenance and repair of offshore floating wind turbines

Alternative title: Løsning for utskifting av hovedkomponenter på flytende vindturbiner til havs

Awarded: NOK 17.9 mill.

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Project Period:

2024 - 2026

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At present, there are no efficient ways of replacing main components such as blades and gearboxes on floating offshore wind turbines. The only tested solution is towing the turbine to port. The availability of suitable ports and the complexity of the marine operations make this time-consuming and costly, and therefore not a viable solution for the industry. This project shall create a safe and efficient solution for main component replacement (MCR) on floating wind turbines on-site offshore. To do that the project will develop a self-hosting lifting tool, SkyWalker, that can be placed on the turbine. The tool will be able to perform a controlled lift of the main components from the turbine foundation and place/remove it on the nacelle. Also, a crane with sufficient reach that can compensate for the movement of the vessel and turbine foundation (3D compensated) will be developed. To succeed with such a complex marine operation the movement of the vessel and turbine in different weather conditions needs to be analyzed to find the optimal weather window for the operation. There will also be done simulations, model tests, and prototype testing both on and offshore. Furthermore, the project will look into the requirements and layout for a next-generation vessel that includes the 3D crane and has deck space for SkyWalker and main components. Lastly, to evaluate the impact from a total wind farm perspective a decision tool for designing and facilitating optimal use of the different technologies will be developed.

This project shall create a safe and efficient solution for main component replacement (MCR) on floating wind turbines on-site offshore. This solution is an important contributor to scaling offshore floating wind capacity which is vital for meeting the world’s growing energy demand and required reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. The consortium consists of major industry players from different parts of the value chain. Nekkar, an offshore technology provider, Ørsted, the market leader in offshore wind, shipowner DOF providing offshore installation, operations and services, Kongsberg Maritime, ship designer and expert within marine operations, all have a strategic stake in creating a sustainable solution for main component replacement. This combined with the research environment of SINTEF, UiA and NORCE has the potential to develop and deliver the best solution.

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