New “ground breaking” sensors have been installed on the foundations of two offshore wind turbines in northern England to analyse their performance in the harsh marine environment.
The sensors have been installed on two out of five gravity-based foundations in the EDF Energy Renewables (EDF ER) Blyth Offshore Demonstrator Wind Farm.
They have been designed by the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult, a network set up by the UK government in 2013 to enhance research and innovation in offshore renewable energy.
The data collected from the sensors will be synchronised with ORE Catapult’s met mast, located 5.6km off the Blyth coast.
The scheme is part of the Demowind-funded FS Found project, in which ORE Catapult is partnering with EDF ER and Royal Bam Group, to demonstrate and validate the new ‘float and submerge’ technique for gravity-based foundations at the design, manufacture and installation stages.
ORE Catapult technical lead on FS Found Jonathan Hughes said: “Float and submerge gravity-based foundations have the potential to be deployed without the need for expensive installation or heavy lift vessels.
“Incorporating a condition monitoring system into this first demonstration of this new technology will help the industry to improve design optimisation and reduce costs, helping to make gravity-based foundations commercially viable as a foundation solution.”
The Blyth Offshore Demonstrator project is being built by EDF Energy Renewables. The project will see five wind turbines with a total generating capacity of 41.5MW installed around 6.5km off the coast of Blyth.
Royal Bam Group designed and built the gravity based foundations used in the project.