Following the completion of tests on the EOLOS FLS200 metocean buoy, RWE Innogy has ended its research series into four floating measuring platforms which have all fulfilled the availability and measuring accuracy requirements specified by the Carbon Trust as conditions for the stage of pre-commercial maturity.
Two buoys were tested in the Netherlands, and two in RWE Innogy’s offshore wind farm, Gwynt y Mor, located off the Welsh coast.
The independent Dutch institute ECN analysed and evaluated the data and compared them to those delivered by the fixed met mast.
Wind, waves and currents have a profound impact on the construction, operation and maintenance of offshore wind farms and have so far been captured using fixed met masts.
With its research project, RWE Innogy aims to contribute to finding a cost-efficient offshore measuring solution as an alternative for expensive, fixed met masts. Such a buoy costs only around 10 to 20 percent of a conventional met mast.
"With our initiative, we have not only made significant findings for cost cutting in the offshore wind area, but have also given a small innovative start-up, such as EOLOS, the possibility to test their technology under real conditions," said Niels Bijkersma, Project Manager at RWE Innogy.
The four tests have delivered results for the world’s largest research programme for testing measuring platforms which had been launched by the Offshore Wind Accelerator, a joint research initiative of the Carbon Trust and major offshore wind farm operators.
The project was co-funded by FLOW (Far and Large Offshore Wind), a research and development programme sponsored by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs.