OFFSHORE WIND TURBINE FOUNDATIONS
- May 21, 2018 10:00 pm GMTMay 21, 2018 9:53 pm GMT
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This item is part of the Special Issue - 2018-06 - Offshore Wind, click here for more
The offshore wind turbine foundation space is going through what may be its most interesting transition to date. Monopiles, the mainstay of the offshore wind industry so far, are stretching the boundaries of what was thought technically possible.
This is leading to a rethink of how the monopile can be further optimised and expand their boundaries, with an eye on installations involving deeper waters and bigger turbines.
At the same time, however, the supremacy of monopiles is being questioned in new offshore wind markets, such as Asia or the US, where technical or commercial considerations might dictate the use of alternative designs.
Jacket foundations are already being touted as an alternative to monopiles in deeper waters, and this trend looks set to grow in markets where monopile construction is not yet consolidated.
Further forward, though, the future of offshore wind looks to be increasingly dominated by floating turbines.
It is too early to say which, if any, of the four currently mooted floating foundation concepts will emerge to dominate the offshore wind market in water depths beyond around 50 meters and with turbines of more than 12-15 MW by 2023/2025, when the first commercial-scale floating arrays are expected. It is thought, however, that barge concept will enable installation at 28m or 30 meters where challenging seabed conditions make bottom-fixed options economically not viable.
With developments taking place on so many fronts, this white paper aims to collect the latest thinking from industry experts and provide a snapshot of the foundation market today, plus its perspectives for change in the future.