The design for a new generation of deep water wind turbine foundations developed by a British consortium led by consultant Gifford has been selected for further development in a competition organised by the Carbon Trust.
Seven design concepts out of more than 100 entries were chosen and the team of Gifford, Freyssinet and BMT Group is the only British-led consortium to reach this far.
The team’s design is a precast concrete base placed on the seabed.Wind turbine masts are then built onto the base which provides stability in water depths of 20m to 45m. The team has also devised a cost-effective transportation and installation system using submersible barges, avoiding the use of heavy crane barges and offshore jack-up platforms. The offshore structures which typically weigh over 3,000t.
The system proposed allows for production line onshore construction to achieve substantial reductions in the cost of deep water wind farms, an important consideration in the design competition. Next year up to three designs will be taken on to the second phase of large-scale demonstration.
Gifford director Pat Jansen said: “Energy producers face the challenge of generating clean and sustainable energy so they are looking to build bigger offshore wind farms in deeper waters. We believe our concept will provide a practicable and competitive solution. “