Renewable energy is poised to take center stage around the globe with wind generated power as one of its main sources. Until recently, wind farm projects have been limited to locations that are either onshore or in the shallow waters of the North Sea, the Chinese coastlines, and Eastern coast of the United States. Stiesdal, Shell, RWE, and TEPCO have partnered on the TetraSpar Demonstration Project to solve this problem and allow for wind generating turbines (WTGs) to be floated in deeper waters around the world. The TetraSpar Demonstration Project is a floating wind turbine prototype that is operational at the Marine Energy Test Centre (METcentre) near Stavanger, Norway.
The challenge was to design and engineer a foundation for the floating wind turbine that could be assembled easily, was scalable, and had the potential for lean manufacturing and low material costs. The foundation needed to rely on buoyancy and stability from a heavy keel that hangs 30 meters below the structure for a relatively deep-water concept. The structure was initially designed to support a 3.6 MW Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy wind turbine at an ocean depth of 200 meters (about 656.17 ft).
Stiesdal chose to partner with DIS/CREADIS to provide engineering services for product development, structural calculations, and engineering of the structure. The foundation is made from pre-made tubular steel components manufactured offsite and connected by "pins." No welding is needed at the harbor, and the structure can be fully assembled there, including mounting the turbine and keel, and then towed to the installation site. According to Stiesdal Offshore Technologies, the TetraSpar is expected to offer important competitive advantages with its potential for lean manufacturing, lean assembly and installation processes and low material costs. As the world’s first fully industrialized offshore wind foundation, Stiesdal estimates that it will reduce manufacturing hours by 85-90%.
The foundation is packed with sensors and DIS/CREADIS is processing the data and producing packages for the investors to monitor the dynamic behavior of the foundation and power production.
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DIS/CREADIS was chosen for its expertise in providing engineering solutions for complex projects, including product development, structural calculations, and engineering. The company provided a cost-effective and scalable solution for the foundation of the floating wind turbine, with the potential for lean manufacturing and low material costs. DIS/CREADIS also provided solutions and procedures for assembly, load-out, towing and ballasting, as well as engineering support for transport, lifting, and installation equipment according to current regulatory standards.
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