Deep water wind turbine foundation design shortlisted by Carbon Trust
A design for a new generation of deep water wind turbine foundations developed by a British consortium led by independent engineering and environmental consultant Gifford has won through to the feasibility stage in a competition organised by the Carbon Trust.
Just seven design concepts out of more than 100 entries have been chosen for further development and the team of Gifford, Freyssinet and BMT Group Ltd is the only British-led consortium to reach this far.
The team's design centres on a concrete foundation rather than steel, with a large base allowing the structure to self-stabilise under forces of gravity in water depths of up to 45 metres. The team has also devised a transportation and installation system using submersible barges that are towed out to position. The offshore structures which typically weigh over 3,000 tonnes are then settled into place.
The system proposed allows for production line onshore fabrication 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.
Pat Jansen, Director of Gifford 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. "