Floating Offshore Wind – Safe Solutions for Black Swan Events

17 Submissions
Due:  26th Apr 2024

Challenge overview

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Overview

The rapid expansion of the offshore wind industry signifies a leap towards sustainable energy, with floating offshore wind turbines at the forefront of this revolution. As pioneers in the field, Å Energi and Corio Generation, through the Nordvegen Vind partnership, are committed to addressing one of the most pressing challenges yet to be fully tackled globally: the development of an effective emergency response recovery system for freely drifting floating offshore wind turbines. This initiative not only aims to safeguard the environment and human lives but also to ensure the financial stability and operational efficiency of the offshore wind sector.

Background

The deployment of full-scale floating offshore wind turbines is on the rise. However, their operation in high-risk areas, such as seismic zones and busy shipping lanes, brings to light the significant challenge of managing emergencies, including partial or complete mooring system failures. Such incidents, though rare, could have catastrophic consequences, arising from sabotage, collision, or manufacturing flaws, leading to turbines becoming freely drifting hazards. This calls for innovative solutions that ensure the safety of personnel, protect assets, and preserve the environment, all without necessitating the physical transfer of offshore personnel to these compromised structures.

The Challenge

Nordvegen Vind seeks innovative, scalable, and low-maintenance solutions capable of responding effectively to emergencies involving freely drifting floating offshore wind turbines. These solutions should be adaptable across various floating substructure designs, withstand harsh North Sea conditions, and ensure the longevity of the turbines, aligning with the offshore wind sector's commitment to sustainability and safety.

Desired Outcome

We encourage the submission of ideas at any Technology Readiness Level (TRL), especially those at TRL 4 (Proof of Concept) or higher. Solutions must exhibit flexibility, scalability, compatibility with North Sea conditions, low maintenance, and longevity. Innovations that also show potential for cross-industry applicability and previous industry engagement will be viewed favorably.

Solution Requirements

  • Must-Haves:

    • Flexibility: Applicable to various floating substructure designs.
    • Scalability: Capable of adapting to increasing turbine sizes and loads.
    • Compatibility: Suitable for operation in harsh marine environments.
    • Low Maintenance: Minimizes operational upkeep.
    • Longevity: Complements the lifespan of wind turbines (25+ years).
  • Nice-to-Haves:

    • Industry Engagement: Experience with floating wind substructure designers.
    • Cross-Industry Applicability: Relevance to sectors like oil and gas, shipping, or leisure sailing.

Innovation and Creativity

We welcome groundbreaking proposals that fulfill our essential requirements while minimizing costs and complexities. Your innovative and out-of-the-box thinking could lead to the development of a system that not only enhances the safety and efficiency of floating offshore wind turbines but also sets new standards in emergency response and recovery within the offshore wind sector.

Evaluation of Success

Success will be measured by the development of at least one solution that meets the majority, if not all, of the must-have requirements, demonstrating cost-effectiveness, and receiving positive feedback from Nordvegen Vind and other key industry stakeholders. Solutions that can be seamlessly integrated into existing designs and are compatible across various geographies will be particularly valued.

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