Successful Offshore Test of New Installation Technology
The Carbon Trust and Fistuca, in conjunction with industry partners (E.ON, EDPR, EnBW, Equinor, Ørsted, Shell, Sif, SSE, Van Oord, and Vattenfall) are pleased to announce the successful completion of the offshore test of the Fistuca BLUE 25M hammer as part of the Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA) BLUE PILOT project.
The offshore test was carried out on 13 August 2018, using Van Oord’s offshore heavy lift installation vessel, Svanen, off the coast of the Netherlands. The BLUE Hammer is an innovative, new hammer utilising a large water tank to provide a more energetic, but quieter blow for offshore installation. It is designed to reduce underwater noise levels by up to 20dB (SEL), and is predicted to reduce the fatigue damage during installation on the pile by up to 90%. This could not only remove the need for underwater noise mitigation, but also enable secondary steel to be pre-welded to the monopile before installation, potentially unlocking ‘transition piece free’ designs. Furthermore, by reducing the amount of time and number of operations carried out offshore, the innovative piling method improves health and safety, resulting in a significantly lower installation cost.
The offshore test provided significant insights and understanding for future commercial operations. Data was recorded on both acceleration levels on the monopile as well as underwater noise levels in the surrounding area which will now be analysed and interpreted to validate studies that were undertaken prior to the test. This will allow Fistuca to optimise the hammer for future use on commercial offshore wind farms. Jasper Winkes, Founder and Managing Director of Fistuca, comments on the execution of the offshore test, “It was great to see the hard work of many years finally delivering these good results on a full scale. We are very grateful for the endorsement of our investor Huisman Equipment, the Dutch Government and all the BLUE PILOT Project partners that made this possible.”
Michael Stephenson, Project Manager for the Carbon Trust, adds, “The test is another step forward in the BLUE PILOT project and we are excited to see the results of the offshore measurements and help further bring this essential innovation to the offshore wind market.” The OWA BLUE PILOT project is funded with subsidies from the Topsector Energie programme by the Dutch Ministry of Economics.
OWA is Carbon Trust’s flagship collaborative RD&D programme. The joint initiative was set up between the Carbon Trust and nine offshore wind developers in 2008. The OWA programme aims to reduce the cost of offshore wind to be competitive with conventional energy generation, as well as provide insights regarding industry standard (and best practice) health and safety requirements. The OWA is part funded by the Scottish Government with the remaining funding coming from industry. The Carbon Trust’s OWA industrial partners are nine international energy companies EnBW, E.ON, Equinor, innogy SE, Ørsted, Scottish Power Renewables/Iberdrola, SSE Renewables, Shell, Vattenfall Wind Power. These partners account for 76% of Europe’s installed offshore wind capacity.