A new concept of building multi-purpose floating structures was presented this month by the developers of MUPFLOST, a Lisbon-based project which was founded earlier this year.
Even though the project’s main goal is the research and development of floating structures for the support of offshore human commercial activities, the Project Coordinator, Miguel Abreu, plans to specialize in concrete or hybrid concrete-steel structures for floating offshore wind turbines in the initial phase.
"We only use concrete if always under compression by external forces and if always submerged. This basically limits us to use concrete only on the floaters (which in our designs will behave almost as an independent part of the platform) and on the gravity anchors (nothing new here)," Mr. Abreu told Offshore WIND.
He stressed that, according to current estimations, concrete allows a 25% cost reduction in the building and maintenance costs of TLP platforms. "This may not be a spectacular reduction but, maybe it will be enough to encourage more developments in floating wind," Mr. Abreu said.
Advantage of this floating platform concept is its deep sea applicability, as it can be used by countries that lack shallow waters. Also, this structure can be deployed further offshore in locations with stronger and more consistent winds.
Offshore WIND staff, April 22, 2014; Image: MUPFLOST