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LIFES 50plus Report Summary

Project ID: 640741

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - LIFES 50plus (Qualification of innovative floating substructures for 10MW wind turbines and water depths greater than 50m.)

Reporting period: 2015-06-01 to 2016-09-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Project context:
For a 500MW wind farm with 100 turbines, the cost for foundation manufacture may be up to €360 million and it is expected that the relative importance of substructures will increase for water depths greater than 50 metres. Substructure costs and their technical limitations are key limiting factors in the installation of wind farms in deeper waters. The potential impact of innovative substructures for water depths greater than 50m is therefore high; cost effective substructures will contribute to reduce the LCOE, but innovations in these substructures will also help to extend the exploitable areas for offshore wind thanks to enhanced technical capabilities in deeper waters.

Main objectives
The focus of the LIFES50+ project is floating wind turbines installed at water depths from 50 m to about 200 m. The consortium partners have chosen to focus on large wind turbines (in the region of 10MW), which are seen as the most effective way of reducing the Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE).
The objective of the project is two-fold:

1. Optimize and qualify, to a TRL (Technical Readiness Level) 5 level, two (2) substructure concepts for 10MW turbines.
The chosen concepts will be taken from an existing list of four (4) TRL>4 candidates currently supporting turbines in the region of 5MW. The selection of the two concepts will be made based on technical, economical, and industrial criteria. An existing reference 10MW wind turbine design will be used throughout the project.

2. More generally, develop a streamlined and KPI-based methodology for the design and qualification process, focusing on technical, economical, and industrial aspects.
This methodology will be supported by existing numerical tools, and targeted development and experimental work. It is expected that resulting guidelines/recommended practices will facilitate innovation and competition in the industry, reduce risks, and indirectly contribute to a lower LCOE. End users for the project deliverables will be developers, designers and manufacturers, but also decision makers who need to evaluate a concept based on given constraints. The project is expected to have a broad impact since it is not led by single group of existing business partners, focusing on one concept only. On the contrary, it involves a strong consortium reflecting the value chain for offshore wind turbines: researchers, designers, classification societies, manufacturers, utilities. This ensures that the project's outcomes suit the concrete requirements imposed by end-users.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

"Concept development and optimization
• Milestone #1 completed defining the conditions for the concepts design –locations, met-ocean conditions and wind turbine model

Concept evaluation
• LIFES50+ Overall Evaluation tool named “Floating Offshore Wind Assessment Tool- FOWAT” have now been developed (milestone #3) and is ready to qualify the four concepts designs under an economic, environmental, risk and technical perspective, which enable the calculation of the following aspects to be considered in both
Phase I and II evaluation of the concept designs.

Experimental studies
• A 10MW Wind Tunnel Model (PoliMi 10MW WTM) has now been designed and built to perform wind tunnel tests of floating offshore wind turbines. Performance based scaling was used for the design of the model scale wind turbine, where the two drivers for the design were the thrust and the blade first flap mode frequency.

Qualification of numerical tools
• Created an overview of the numerical models, which contains an overview of the design methods applied for floater design, and the models used by the consortium partners and their qualifications.
• Two simplified numerical models for up-scaled design have been set up for a generic floater concept and the 10MW turbine: The SLOW (Simplified Low-Order Wind turbine) model of USTUTT and the QuLA (Quick Load Analyses) model at DTU.

Concept industrialization
• A review of methodologies for an industrialized offshore wind substructure design process has been carried out. Based on this review important industrialization challenges and elements for FOWTs were identified and procedures (design briefs) proposed.

Uncertainty and risk management
• Establish a methodology showing how risks associated with deep water floating substructures could be identified, evaluated and treated for the next coming WP6 deliveries, and the uncertainty and risk management framework.

Design practice
• A review of available certification guidelines and recommended practices has been carried out and an overall understanding of the individual topics considered in the certification process of a FOWT has been established.
• A set of design load cases and environmental conditions have been defined, and the design requirements have been identified for the FOWT designs. This design basis will form the basis for the technical evaluation of the four concepts.
• A high-level overview of the SoA design practice of floating wind turbine sub-structures and the relevant guidelines, which are applied in the design process has been created.

Dissemination and exploitation
• Project external website established. Press release and short newsletters with updates on the project developments and summary versions of the public deliverables.
• Promotional material produced including a project logo and flyer.

Management and technical coordination
• Creating and distributing required procedures related to the day to day running of the LIFES50+ project, hereunder the handbook for management procedures, project quality and risk management plan as well as the IPR guidelines
• The project have so far identified 8 IP-I (Innovation Potential-inventory) that will potentially be generated over the course of the project"

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

The market for FOWT are still in the development stage with a few full-scale prototypes and only in the 2MW range and several other concepts under design in the 5-6 MW range. The LIFES50+ ambition is to go one-step further and advance well beyond the SoA with substructure design at TRL 5 for two concepts and TRL 4 for the other two concepts for very large FOWT (10MW). In addition, to develop and/or improve available cost analysis tools, by delivering comprehensive methodologies and multi-criteria cost calculation tool using a life cycle approach for design evaluation, including LCOE.

Expected outcome of the project will be to deliver mature floating substructure design (at TRL of 5), synchronized with the expected time-to-market of 10MW offshore wind turbines technology, increased scientific and industrial knowledge on numerical and experimental design methodologies and procedures. The overall effect is to have the technology basis available to achieve LCOE reduction of more than 15% just through larger wind turbines in a 5-years horizon. Finally, the LIFES50+ project is expected to enhance the development of offshore wind farms, and by this contributing to increasing the share of renewable generation in the power system. Assuming that this replaces generation from conventional coal fired power plants in the long terms, emissions will be reduced with some several millions tonnes of CO2 for every TWh of offshore wind generation. The deep sea wind farms may be used in conjunction with electrification of offshore oil and gas installations, and will directly contribute to reducing European emissions of greenhouse gases.

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