DemoSATH Project Selects Spanish Contractor


Sustainable transportation infrastructure company, Ferrovial (Madrid, Spain), was recently selected by Saitec Offshore Technologies and RWE Renewables for the manufacture and assembly of a floating platform for its DemoSATH project.

Construction of the SATH floating platform is slated to take 14 months and will also involve site preparation, concrete precasting, procurement of steel bulkheads, the assembly of the floater and supply chain management.

About DemoSATH

According to the European Commission, DemoSATH was developed by Saitec Offshore Technologies as an innovative solution for floating offshore wind turbines, designed with the aim of lowering the cost of energy and reducing carbon emissions.

DemoSATH Project will consist of the deployment of a 2MW Floating Offshore Wind Turbine in BIMEP Test Center located off the coast of Bilbao area in the North of Spain.

An environmental permit has been granted and the electrical offshore cable is already installed. The base of the structure is estimated to be 30 meters (98 feet) wide and 64 meters long. The platform, including the turbine, will be towed to its anchorage point in a test field three kilometers (two miles) off the coast at a depth of 85 meters.

Offshore magazine reports that the structure will stay in place using hybrid mooring lines—composed of chains and fiber—anchored to the seabed.

Roughly 80% or 12.4 million euros ($14.5 million) of project financing for the project has already been secured. Funding for the project is mostly supported by private sources but has also received funding from a combination of grants, equity investment and research and development tax credit transfers.

The unit is expected to go into operation by early 2022 and is slated to provide 2,000 homes worth of annual electricity and prevent emissions of more than 5,100 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere.

Other Offshore Research, Projects

Earlier this year, engineers from Purdue University, working in collaboration with concrete additive manufacturing startup RCAM Technologies and the Floating Wind Technology Company (FWTA), announced plans to develop offshore wind tower parts using 3D-printed concrete.

According to the university, traditional building methods of wind turbines are expensive, often requiring parts to be shipped roughly 30 miles or more away from the coast. As a replacement to steel materials, researchers are looking at how these same parts can instead be created using 3D-printed concrete.

While the possible solution is reported to be more cost efficient, 3D printing the necessary parts would also allow them to float to a site from an onshore plant and would eliminate the use of molds required in conventional concrete manufacturing methods.

The new development is a continuation of the team’s research on 3D-printing cement-based materials into bioinspired designs, such as ones that use structures mimicking the ability of an arthropod shell to withstand pressure. However, in addition to creating 3D-printed wind turbine towers, RCAM and FWTC are also looking into the possibility of printing anchors.

At the time, the team was looking at how a robot arm could be integrated with a concrete pump to fabricate the wind turbine substructures and anchors. The university reports that this is process involves “scaling up their 3D printing by formulating a special concrete—using a mixture of cement, sand and aggregates, and chemical admixtures to control shape stability when concrete is still in a fresh state.”

From there, the team hoped to better understand the feasibility and structural behavior of 3D-printed concrete produced on a larger scale. Through this progressive understanding, the team should then be able to determine how gravity affects the durability of the larger structures, and can be used to optimize and reinforce other 3D-printed structures in general.

Research is being conducted in the Robert L. and Terry L. Bowen Laboratory for Large-Scale Civil Engineering Research.

Amit Varma, Purdue’s Karl H. Kettelhut Professor of Civil Engineering and director of Bowen Laboratory, and Christopher Williams, an assistant professor of civil engineering, are assisting in deploying the robot as part of the internal project within the Lyles School of Civil Engineering and between the specialty groups of materials engineering and structural engineering.

Last year, the FLOTANT project reported that it would be delving into a plastic-concrete hybrid system that can help improve offshore wind turbine buoyancy.

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.

And in September 2019, Danish wind energy firm Ørsted, in charge of constructing what will be world’s largest offshore wind farm, Hornsea Project One, reported that the project was nearly finished and on track for its 2020 completion date.

The project is slated to put the U.K. closer to its 2030 goal of deriving a third of its electricity from offshore wind, and is expected to provide energy to more than 1 million U.K. homes, totaling 1.2 gigawatts of energy output annually.

Once up and running, Hornsea One will generate nearly twice the power of Ørsted's Walney Extension—the current largest offshore wind farm in the world, located in the Irish Sea.

Since changing its name from Danish Oil and Natural Gas to reflect its transition to green energy in 2017, Ørsted has cut its use of coal by 73% since 2006 and plans to be coal free by 2023. To date, the company has built 25 offshore wind farms across Europe, the United States and Asia, however the United Kingdom is reported to be the biggest market for offshore wind.


Tagged categories: Energy efficiency; EU; Europe; Ongoing projects; Power; Power; Program/Project Management; Project Management; Wind Farm; Wind Towers

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