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Offshore Wind Firm Innovates with TSA

Thursday, August 24, 2017

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In order to protect its offshore Arkona wind farm, E.ON (Essen, Germany) is applying a thermal spray aluminum coating to the array's monopiles, a move the company says will protect them from corrosion for their entire service life.

The German energy provider says it is the first company to completely assemble the monopiles for the wind array with the anti-corrosion coating in place. To date, all 60 steel foundations at the facility have received the coating, all of which are 265 feet long (at maximum) and have a diameter of 26 feet.

The Coating Process

Equipped with two arc burners, a robot sprays a 350 micron thick layer of molten aluminum onto the foundations of the monopiles, which is then sealed with resin. This treatment will be effective for the wind farm’s 25-year operation period, the company says.


To date, all 60 steel foundations at the facility have received the coating, all of which are 265 feet long (at maximum) and have a diameter of 26 feet.

In the past, the thermal spray aluminum process had customarily been used on smaller underwater steel components, or larger above-water components that are often used in offshore substations. It is also used in other applications, including onshore oil and gas equipment.

The Arkona wind farm is the first instance of the TSA process being used on an industrial scale in the offshore wind industry, E.ON says, and with the process being automated, it is a more cost-efficient option than the conventional alternative.

"The guiding principle behind all E.ON activities is to improve people's lives. Environmental and climate protection play a central role as part of this,” Sven Utermöhlen, COO of E.ON Climate & Renewables, said in a statement.

The company also sees a direct environmental upshot in the corrosion protection the TSA coating provides; by protecting the monopile structures from corrosion for 25 years, the company says, the coating will prevent hundreds of tons of deposits into the sea.

“E.ON has again proved its innovative capability with the TSA procedure. We will now analyze and further optimize the process in order to use it for future offshore wind projects.”

The Arkona Project

According to E.ON, the wind farm will be able to produce 385 megawatts, supplying 400,000 homes with renewable energy starting in 2019. Arkona saves up to 1.2 million tons of carbon emissions a year, with a total of 60 six-megawatt turbines to be installed.

E.ON developed the TSA process with engineers from Rambøll Germany.


Tagged categories: Construction; Corrosion protection; Wind Towers

Comment from Martin van Leeuwen, (8/24/2017, 2:28 AM)

Great prospects for metallic coatings in offshore wind energy. The wind mill poles (from +20m above the water line until the turbine) are very often thermal sprayed with a ZincAluminium15 coating, finished with an organic coating. Denmark has a line for fully automated efficient TS of such poles with ZnAl15. Auxiliary steel attached to the intermediate part such as cable trays, ladders, platforms and railings is very often hot dip galvanized with zinc. Zinc and aluminium coatings guarantee a lifetime well beyond the economic lifetime of offshore wind farms.

Comment from Mario Colica, (8/24/2017, 12:11 PM)

this is another great confirmation that TSA (Thermal Spray Aluminum is the most trustfull anticorrosion application for steel structures.

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