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The Atlantic Float Project

Floating Offshore Wind Technologies for the Atlantic Frontier
Introduction

The project described in the abstract aims to address the challenges of developing floating wind farms off the Irish Atlantic coast. The Irish government has committed to extracting at least 30GW of floating wind energy, but there are significant issues that need to be resolved for the successful implementation of floating wind technology.


While the offshore wind sector assumes that the commercial rollout of floating wind will be like fixed offshore wind, the project emphasizes that installing and operating floating wind farms is extremely challenging. The focus of the project is on the dynamic nature of floating wind turbines in the harsh Atlantic conditions and how this impacts the design parameters of various components.


The project aims to investigate the effects of platform motions caused by wind, waves, and tides on the structural design of the platform, turbine, moorings, and nacelle (the housing for the generating components). The current platform designs are believed to limit the operations and maintenance (O&M) activities, reduce reliability, and increase capital expenditure (CAPEX).


To overcome these challenges, the project seeks to determine the criteria that floating platforms need to meet to operate reliably and achieve availability of 90% or more. Additionally, the project will develop an innovative floating platform and a novel mooring system that will reduce platform loadings and motions, as well as minimize the overall footprint of the floating wind turbine.


In summary, the project focuses on understanding and mitigating the dynamic effects of Atlantic conditions on floating wind turbines. It aims to improve the design and performance of floating platforms, mooring systems, and other components to ensure reliable operation and maximize energy availability.

Project Duration

March 2024-February 2026

Objectives

1. Determine the readiness of FOW for Ireland’s Atlantic waters, in terms of the limiting criteria for platform motion with respect to the structural and mooring design, as well as the human factors associated with working onboard. 

2. Advance the development of two innovative Irish technologies (floating platform and mooring system) which reduce the LCOE of FOW and de-risk the technology for deployment in North Atlantic waters. 

3. Determine the impact of platform stability on the structural design and use metrics to quantify the relationship between stability and cost. Undertake physical and numerical model testing of 3 floating platform types with one platform specifically designed to meet determined criteria. 

4. Validate the impact of mooring system optimisation on representative FOW platforms in terms of their response to various sea states and its capacity to increase maintenance windows  

5. Quantifiably assess working conditions on floating platforms and impacts of motions on personnel, to enable guidelines to be provided to platform designers.  Determine working limits for typical platform types in Atlantic environments.

6. Actively engage with key stakeholders throughout the project to ensure project focus towards addressing critical aspects and disseminate knowledge and outputs from the project to policy makers and the general public, to inform and advance FOW policy making and public acceptance in Ireland. 

7. Maintain Ireland’s leading position in ORE research activities by developing new research methodologies and publishing project outputs in international journals 

Deliverables

Work Package 1 | Project Management

WP1-D1: Data Management Plan
WP1-D2: IPR Plan
WP1-D3: Project Handbook
WP1-D4: Journal publications (Aim 3+)

Work Package 2 | Numerical Modelling

WP2-D1: Basis of Design
WP2-D2: Numerical Modelling Report
WP2-D2: Numerical Modelling Validation Report

 

Work Package 3 | Physical Modelling

WP3-D1: Physical model test description
WP3-D2: Load, motion and wave data package
WP3-D3: Data Analysis Report

 

Work Package 4 | Moorings and Structural Design

WP4-D1: SOFWind Structural Design Parameters
WP4-D2: TLP based LRD Preliminary Design Report
WP4-D3: Report on Effect of Stability on Turbine Design

 

Work Package 5 | WP5 Human Factors

WP5-D1: Report & methodology on motion limit values for FOW maintenance


WP5-D2: report on motion performance characteristics of modelled FOW systems


WP5-D3: Report on limiting sea-state conditions & maintenance window durations

 

Work Package 6 | Communication and Dissemination

WP6-D1: Communication & Dissemination toolkit.
WP6-D2: Stakeholder engagement plan.
WP6-D3: Stakeholder engagement through WEI Conferences, Working Group and committees.
WP6-D4: Disseminate final project report.

Contact Us

research@windenergyireland.com

Our Funding Body

This project has been supported with financial contribution from Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland under the SEAI Research, Development & Demonstration Funding Programme 2023, Grant number 23/RDD/955

 

 

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