Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult has joined forces with the National Decommissioning Centre (NDC) in a research partnership to work on three PhD projects aimed at developing new floating offshore wind technologies.
Each valued at GBP 84,000 (around EUR 99,000) and co-founded by ORE Catapult, the NDC, and the School of Engineering at the University of Aberdeen, the three projects focus on a different aspect of floating offshore wind development, including the simulation of floating offshore wind turbine (FOWT) systems, design optimisation of these systems, and environmental concerns.
The first project, named Simulations of Floating Offshore Wind Marine Operations, will take advantage of the NDC’s GBP 1.6 million (about EUR 1.9 million) immersive simulation suite to trial virtual marine operations related to the installation and maintenance of FOWT systems in a risk-free environment.
The partners will also work on the Multi-objective Design Optimisation of Floating Offshore Wind Systems project with the goal of developing a numerical tool that could improve the design of combined floating platforms and mooring and dynamic cable systems.
This is expected to allow users to identify the best solutions based on project circumstances and cost.
According to the partners, the final project, Study of Environmental Interactions of FOW Technology, will investigate how key environmental stakeholders, advisory bodies and research organisations can work together to identify gaps in their knowledge of how offshore wind farms interact with the marine environment and better identify solutions.
Each project is scheduled to run for three and a half years and will be coordinated by Marcin Kapitaniak and Richard Neilson from the University of Aberdeen at the NDC in Newburgh.
“The collaboration between the partners was initiated when the NDC received support from EPSRC’s Supergen ORE Hub for a project aimed at the development of cost-effective methods of installation of floating wind farm anchors, which was co-funded by ORE Catapult and Aubin Group,” said Neilson.
“This opened discussions about utilising the NDC’s unique and state-of-the-art simulation suite, which as well as being able to undertake detailed marine technology and operational simulations, can also conduct complex data modelling and visualisation.”
Last year, NDC, together with Aubin Group, received funding for the development of a novel lifting solution that could potentially lead to the reduction in costs of installation of floating wind farms.
In April 2022, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that the UK plans to raise its 2030 offshore wind target to 50 GW, of which the government would like to see up to 5 GW come in form of floating wind.
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