A corrosion protection process developed by E.ON and Ramboll and used for the first time on the Arkona offshore wind farm has won the German Renewables Award in the Innovation of the Year category.
E.ON and Statoil’s joint project got the Innovation of the Year award from the Clusteragentur Erneuerbare Energien based in Hamburg.
“The procedure developed by E.ON reduces the environmental impact and at the same time lowers the costs for the construction of offshore wind farms,” explained the independent jury from science and industry.
During the 25-year operating life of an offshore wind farm, the metal-dissolving corrosion process is significantly reduced by the new process and emissions to the sea are reduced by several hundred tons, E.ON said.
This is achieved by means of the thermal-spray aluminum process, whereby the mono steels, which are up to 81 meters long and weigh 1,200 tons, are first coated with aluminum and then additionally protected with a synthetic resin layer.
The award was presented to E.ON project director Holger Matthiesen.
“We have taken the risk of integrating innovation into our ongoing project process. We are pleased to have successfully implemented this jointly developed innovation in the Arkona offshore wind farm for the first time worldwide. This will further reduce costs for the offshore wind sector and further minimize the environmental impact,” said Matthiesen at the award ceremony.
E.ON has developed the thermal spray aluminum process together with Rambøll, an engineering company. The companies EEW Special Pipe Constructions and Krebs then implemented the process industrially at their sites in Rostock. For this purpose, existing coating halls were expanded and the world’s first fully automated coating line was developed.
The Coating Process
In the coating process, a robot sprays molten aluminum onto the foundation using two arc burners. The surface is then sealed with synthetic resin. The thermal spray aluminum process has so far been used primarily as corrosion protection for smaller steel components under water or for larger components above water, such as offshore substations. For the foundations of the Arkona turbines, the process was used for the first time on an industrial scale.
Arkona Wind Farm
The 385MW Arkona project is located 35 kilometers northeast of the island of Rügen. The wind farm will comprise 60 Siemens 6MW turbines installed on monopile foundations at water depths of 23 to 37 meters. The commissioning of the wind farm is scheduled for 2019.