The SEAPOWER project presents its innovative solutions for large offshore wind turbines (>15 MW) at WindEurope Bilbao
– After three years of work, the nine companies in the consortium have designed a new floating platform; an innovative foundation for offshore wind turbines, new designs of large metal structures (towers and transition pieces) with reduced cost and weight, and new developments of different auxiliary systems. -These results were presented at the WindEurope Bilbao fair to more than 40 industry experts, who showed great interest in the development of the project and in the future of the new solutions presented at the event.
Over the past three years, the SEAPOWER consortium has developed innovative solutions for floating platforms, fixed foundations, towers and auxiliary systems focused on the huge offshore wind turbines of the future. This project, funded by the Basque government and ERDF funds, has evolved with the market process, adapting the solutions initially proposed for wind turbines from >10 MW to >15 MW within three years. Basque industry has acquired knowledge and offered added value through integral designs for the offshore wind sector, incorporating proprietary innovations, thanks to SEAPOWER.
SENER was the architect and coordinator of the project, and developed the activities related to the floating solution. The engineering and technology company has designed and successfully tested in a wave tank a new semi-submersible floating platform for offshore wind turbines > 15 MW. Some key characteristics of this innovative platform, under the trade name HiveWind, are its modularity, standardization, scalability, constructability, small dimensions compatible with shipyards, reduced weight, high performance and adaptability to conditions. site specifics and manufacturing capabilities. Thanks to SEAPOWER, a new company has been created between SENER and Amper Group called “Hive Wind Energy” for the commercial exploitation of the platform.
IDOM, the other reference Basque design office, has developed a new jacket foundation concept with the aim of reducing both CAPEX and OPEX costs. The company also conducted a vat test to validate its design.
At the forefront of developing new designs for large metal structures are two industry benchmarks, HAIZEA WIND and NAVACEL.
HAIZEA WIND, a tower manufacturer for the wind industry, has reduced the tower section and joints by developing an innovative tower solution, saving 11% of cost compared to its previous product.
NAVACEL, manufacturer of large metal structures, has developed an innovative design of a light and easy to manufacture transition piece to connect the jacket foundation (IDOM) and the tower (HAIZEA WIND) for wind turbines > 15 MW. This transitional part is designed to accommodate the transformer and the guard cells, in order to save space in the tower and to simplify operation and maintenance activities.
NAUTILUS Floating Solutions, one of the most experienced floating platform developers in Europe, designed in the project an advanced numerical model for the verification of the natural modes and frequencies of the tower (XXL) and the transition part in the main deck of the floating platform.
DITREL has developed an innovative concept of electrical connection at the base of the wind turbine, particularly useful for floating platforms. During the project, DITREL validated its 66 kV pre-connector and produced a small-scale prototype for physical testing.
ERREKA, manufacturer of bolted joints for offshore wind power, adapted the design of the joint system between the new tower and the jacket developed for the project. This bolted system has improved mechanical performance and is specially designed for new flanges.
JASO Tower Cranes, specialists in lifting systems for the wind energy sector, designed a new elevator for the interior of the tower taking into account the floating offshore wind system. This innovative design prevents the connection of the elevator to the tower, by making the joints via internal plates, so as not to interfere with the design of the tower.
MUGAPE, an expert company in anti-corrosive surface coatings, has developed for the SEAPOWER project coatings resistant to corrosion, biofouling and shocks, which have been tested in real conditions and show no deterioration.
Finally, the consortium has received support from two leading research centers in the wind energy sector: Tecnalia and Tekniker.
The details of all these results were presented at the Wind Talks for Innovation area of the WindEurope Bilbao exhibition held on April 5 in front of more than 40 industry experts who were able to share their ideas on the solutions developed and the future opportunities of these new designs in an industry that is rapidly advancing and undergoing a process of continuous change.
Project financed by the Department of Economic Development, Sustainability and Environment of the Basque Government (HAZITEK program) and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)