AdBm Demonstrates Underwater Noise Abatement Solutions

The Austin Technology Incubator (ATI), part of the IC2 Institute at The University of Texas at Austin (UT), detailed the recent successful offshore demonstration of AdBm Technologies’ underwater noise abatement system.

AdBm, a portfolio company of ATI’s Clean Energy Incubator, worked with its Dutch partner, Ballast Nedam, to deploy its system at the in the German North Sea. The test successfully demonstrated an underwater noise reduction of almost 40 dB, a level of performance that is critical for the installation of offshore wind farms, especially those located in challenging environments like the North Sea.

AdBm has developed a lower cost, effective and reliable underwater noise abatement system which enables businesses to meet underwater noise regulations, especially in offshore wind, energy and marine construction projects. The AdBm technology is much more effective acoustically and considerably faster to install that other alternatives, while also safer and more economical.

“The worldwide market for underwater noise control is estimated at $1 billion and nowhere is the need more urgent than the North Sea area where current offshore wind opportunities are greatest, but the environment is the most challenging,” said Dr. Mark Wochner, PhD, CEO, AdBm Technologies. “We have great science behind our technology, and this is the first time our system has been proven in a rough environment like the North Sea. European environmental regulations regarding underwater noise abatement are getting stricter all the time, and in Germany underwater noise levels must stay below 160 dB SEL or else risk being shut down. The product worked as expected and our future customers can see firsthand how we will ensure compliance for their offshore construction projects.”

AdBm, along with its partner Ballast Nedam which produces cost-efficient foundation solutions for the offshore wind industry, conducted the offshore demonstration in July 2014. The system was installed at the Butendiek Offshore Wind Farm in the German North Sea. Testing was conducted during monopile installation by Ballast Nedam’s Heavy Lift Vessel, the Svanen. Utilizing an anchor handling tug, AdBm tested the system during pile driving operations for two separate monopiles at different distances. Data from over 1,000 hammer strikes was collected from a reference hydrophone array and compared to an identical hydrophone array protected by the AdBm noise abatement system. The results validated AdBm’s underwater noise reduction predictions of 40 dB.

AdBm Technologies is a UT startup based on research begun at the University of Texas at Austin’s Applied Research Laboratories, a leading acoustics research laboratory. The company formed in 2013 to commercialize the technology through support of ATI’s Clean Energy Incubator, founded in 2001 and one of the industry’s longest established energy and clean technology incubators in the US.

“Experts predict noise regulations to double or triple over the next five years,” said Mitch Jacobson, co-director, ATI Clean Energy Incubator. “AdBm’s technology is right in the center of a big problem with big money implications. Better, it is making a big impact, in the right way, helping protect marine environments.” 

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 Press release, September 09, 2014; Image: adbmtech