Skip to main content

New twin floating platform for offshore wind turbines

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - SATH (New twin floating platform for offshore wind turbines)

Reporting period: 2020-05-01 to 2021-04-30

Currently, 90% of global installed offshore wind capacity is commissioned and operated in the North Sea and the nearby Atlantic Ocean, but in less than two decades from now, China would dominate offshore wind installations, beating Europe, that would continue to dominate offshore wind installations for a decade or so, with total offshore wind capacity growing four-fold to 78 GW by 2030 and more than eleven-fold to 215 GW by 2050, compared to 19 GW in 2018.

It should be remarked that most of the offshore wind potential is located in places with deep waters (higher than 60 m), where bottom fixed solutions are complex and expensive. Therefore, floating solutions are required to access these resources. And this situation not only appears in Europe (where the most important part of the offshore capacity is in deep waters); US and Japan are also interested in this type of solution and offer good regulation and public support for the deployment of these technologies.

In this context, SAITEC has developed the SATH floating wind turbine solution. SATH platform consists of two cylindrical and horizontal floating elements linked to each other through beam frames and attached to flat and horizontal panels.
This new technology represents a disruptive change over current floating solutions due to the use of different construction materials (concrete instead of steel), the single mooring point, and the versatility of the design that makes it adaptable to very different depths of water. Thanks to these characteristics, it will allow a reduction in LCoE (Levelized Cost of Energy) not only over the current floating technology but also over the fixed bottom offshore wind solutions.

The global aim of the project consists in a double objective: first, the demonstration in real conditions of the SATH platform (scale 1:6) in a real scenario for offshore wind which will allow a reduction in LCOE over the current floating technology, and second, the completion of the 1:1 full-scale detailed design platform (with a 10 MW turbine), that will allow not only its certification by a certified body but also the definition of the manufacturing process. In parallel testing and validation of a concrete subassembly will be performed.
WP1 – Management and Coordination
The main aim of WP1 is the overall strategic and operational management and steering of the project, ensuring the accuracy, quality and timeliness of deliverables, seamless integration of the activities and coherence of all the developments between Work Packages. It also establishes the communication flow and methods for reporting, risks monitoring, quality assurance and innovation management. Finally, it manages the public face of the project, the liaison with the European Commission and the production of periodic reports.

WP2 – Construction, Transport and Installation
The main aim of WP2 is to construct and deploy the SATH platform on Sardinero Bay at Santander, North of Spain. Additionally, the transport and installation procedure feasibility were demonstrated including the mooring pre-laid and subsequent hook-up.

The main achievements of WP2 to date include:
- Construction of SATH platform, painting and assembly with the RNA.
- Mooring installation prior to platform hook up.
- All foreseen project deliverables have been submitted with some delays considering the Covid-19 crisis.

WP2 was complete during Reporting Period 1.

WP3 – Validation, Testing, Data Collection and Analysis
The main aim of WP3 is to ensure state of the art instrumentation is installed and operates as planned in the harsh open-sea environment, enhancing successful development of the technical work of other Work Packages.

The main achievements of WP3 to date include:
- Commissioning process of the SATH floating wind turbine generator.
- Setting up and validation of the sensors installed on SATH platform to gather relevant data to further analysis.
- Decommissioning process of the SATH floating wind turbine.
- A characterization of high strength self-compacting lightweight concrete for marine environment was carry out.
- Gathered data from sensors installed on SATH platform to further analysis.

WP4 – Certification
The commercial scale for the SATH structure is to operate with turbines between 8 to 20MW. This commercial scale will have the target to be certified and the base work towards certification will be performed under the present scope. The Technology Qualification process will be applied to define/confirm the set of standards and required adaptations of these standards as well as identify any failure mode/mechanism that is not properly covered in the existing standards as the proposed floating support structure has some innovative aspects (Risk Assessment).

The main achievements of WP4 to date include different interactions with DNVGL to study and evaluate the:
- Risk analysis to evaluate the platform in all the design phases: Engineering, Construction, Installation, Commissioning, O&M, Decommissioning
- Certification of methodologies, design basis, coupled models results.

WP5 – Commercialization Plan
The main aim of WP5 is to plan and carry out all activities required to exploit the results of the project for the full range of potential users, including the dissemination to target audiences and communication to the general public.
The main achievements of WP5 to date include:
- High visibility and information of the evolution of the project to keep updated to the stakeholders and other audiences.
- Dissemination and communication activities: participation in events, media releases, and oral communications.

WP6 - Escalation Plan
The main objective of the WP6 is to prepare a detailed escalation plan in order to make the business adaptable to a larger workload without compromising performance or losing revenue.
The main impacts are focused on the following two categories:

• Direct project impacts:
a) Evaluating and reducing life-cycle environmental impact based on the new experience and data on operating conditions in the open sea.
b) Open sea operating data will bring cohesion, coherence and strategy in the development of floating wind energy technologies.
c) Reducing risks, time and costs of technology deployment by improved modelling, planning and logging of maritime operations.
d) Real operating data will inform and enable design for reliability, which reduces maintenance costs directly, and will allow use of preventive and condition based maintenance strategies, which reduces overall operating costs.

• Wider impacts
e) Improving EU energy security: long term cost-reduction will make a major contribution to facilitate floating offshore wind energy to be part of the future European energy mix.
f) Floating offshore wind energy is more predictable than and complementary with wave and solar energy, and can thus help manage intermittency, allowing larger amounts of variable output renewable sources in the grid.
g) Nurturing the supply chain of floating wind energy industry, by validating components and systems that can make a step change in real operating conditions.
h) Job creation potential of floating wind energy is in the order 20.000 new jobs in Europe.
i) Achieving competitive floating wind energy would contribute to a sustainable, clean and secure energy mix.
Launching (I)
Platform under construction (I)
Mooring chains and anchors
Platform under construction (II)
Launching (II)
Installation and commissioning
Wind turbine assembly