Carbon Trust Picks Innovative Foundation Inspection Methods

The Carbon Trust has announced the winners of the latest innovation competition in its Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA) program which sought new or adaptable techniques for inspection of offshore wind foundations.

Applications were open for four specific challenges, including weld inspection for monopile foundations, weld inspection for jacket foundations, grout inspection for monopile foundations and grout inspection for jacket foundations.

Oceaneering International Services Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Oceaneering International, won in the category of weld inspection for monopile foundations with the development of an inspection tool adapted from previous use in oil and gas.

The weld inspection for jacket foundations included two winners, Oceaneering utilizing its experience in oil and gas to provide an innovative technique for inspection of nodes, and German Kraken Robotics having developed a high-resolution laser imaging sensor for inspection of subsea assets.

In collaboration with Ashtead Technology and Hydrason, Next Geoslutions UKCS won in the grout inspection for jackets with a technique based on the use of innovative sonar to detect gaps, cracks and disbanding of grout.

The grout inspection for monopiles included two winners, Uniper Technologies with its ultrasonic interferometric technique, jointly developed with the British Geological Survey, and Next Geosolutions UKCS with the same technology as for the jacket inspection.

The winners will initially receive a range of tailored support from the Carbon Trust, the OWA partners and technical contractors INNOSEA and Everoze, which will include marketing advice through to engineering and industry-specific support. Following this phase, those techniques which show significant potential will then be tested at operational offshore wind farms to prove their ability in real life conditions.

“This competition has once again shown the impressive level of innovation and ingenuity that exists within the industry. The range of winners also highlights the transferability of many techniques from other industries into offshore wind, and the potential for other players in these markets to offer services and technologies that could improve operations from both a cost and health and safety perspective,” Michael Stephenson, Project Manager of the Foundations Working Area in OWA.