Hybrid Material Strengthens Floating Wind Farms

TUESDAY, JULY 16, 2019

In a bid to better the technology that enables offshore wind farms, the FLOTANT project is delving into a plastic-concrete hybrid system that can help improve offshore wind turbine buoyancy.

Three environments have been selected for testing: the MARIN basin, to examine global performance under specific conditions; the Dynamic Marine Component Test facility (DMaC-UNEXE), for testing prototypes on a large scale; and the PLOCAN Marine Test Site, for examining novel materials that will be subject to seawater conditions.

Wind Turbine Buoyancy Project

One of the challenges posed by offshore wind farms is a matter of depth: Once there are no more locations at less than 60 meters (roughly 196 feet)—the area in which a turbine could be anchored to the sea bed—more expensive options, including mooring and anchoring, must be used.

AIMPLAS, the Plastics Technology Center, is contributing to the project, helping to implement wind farm technology at depths of 100 to 600 meters. AIMPLAS is specifically working on the anchoring, wiring and floatation system through developing thermoplastic and thermoset materials that feature marine-focused properties, including antifouling and antibite.

The FLOTANT project began back in April, and is part of European Horizon 2020 in a move to install wind turbines of more than 10 MW. This is in part thanks to an anchoring system made of high-performance polymers that reduces the movement of a platform.

Collectively, the system will be composed of the aforementioned hybrid system, lightweight wiring and a high-performance power export system.

In using materials that are more resistant to the environment, along with being more lightweight, reports also indicate that there is likely to be a reduction in installation and maintenance cost by over 50%. The project is expected to conclude in March of 2022.


Tagged categories: concrete; NA; North America; Offshore; Program/Project Management; Research and development; Wind Farm; Wind Towers

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