Bureau Veritas says an innovative decision support system for the structural maintenance of Floating Offshore Wind Turbines (FOWTs) is close to being finalised.
The initiative could result in significant cost and energy saving for all types of renewable marine energy farms.
The system has been developed within the framework of Eurogia+, the Eureka cluster for low-carbon energies. The partners in this project - Bureau Veritas, Materiaal Metingen Europe, University of Liège, DN&T, and Ifremer - have recently completed their studies and developed prototype software for the structural maintenance of FOWTs. Finalisation of the project is expected within the next few months.
Philippe Renard, manager of the ships in service projects department at BV, says, “FOWTs at sea are continuously exposed to the effects of wind and waves, making access difficult. The profitability of FOWT farms therefore depends on good initial design and an optimal Inspection Maintenance and Repair (IMR) strategy during their entire operational life.”
The BV HLC-AIMS (Hull Life Cycle & Asset Integrity Management System) project integrates a simulation of inspection scenarios, Risk-Based Inspections (RBIs), probabilistic calculations, and time domain hydrodynamic calculations of wind turbine motion and stress. These elements are combined with a finite element and fatigue structural analysis, and a geometrical 3D model for each FOWT, using the marine OpenHCM standard.
Philippe Renard explains, “The expected benefit for designers will be to take into account the IMR aspects early in the interactive design process, with a view to optimising the life-cycle global cost.
“At a later stage, measured environmental conditions, inspection results and repairs will be re-injected into the system, thus allowing finalisation of the optimal IMR strategy. The result will be a reduction in the KWh cost of the electricity delivered by this low-carbon technology.
“Although the project focuses on FOWTs, it can be applied directly to fixed offshore wind turbines and could be used extensively for any type of renewable marine energy farm.”