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Deep sea offshore wind turbine technology

The project was targeted towards industrial value creation. The project was timely since the international development was at its very beginning and Norwegian offshore and energy industry had a competitive advantage

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Offshore wind farms

Offshore wind farms had so far been installed at shallow waters (-30 m) using gravity base structures or mono-piles. Sizes ranged up to 160 MW (Horns Rev), though significantly larger wind farms was planned. All was relatively close to shore and connected by AC. However, the potential at deeper water was huge provided that costs could be reduced to a competitive level. The relevant technologies for foundation appeared to be tripod or jacket support structures (-70 m) and floating concepts for greater depths. Deep sea offshore wind farms was expected to be large, ~1000 MW and located +50 km from shore. The environmental conditions differed here considerable from standard onshore conditions and new, different design specifications had to be taken into account. The distant offshore location required assessment of new systems for connection, e.g. HVDC and possibly hooked to sub-sea transnational connections or electrification of oil-rigs.


Project summary

This project combined wind technology know-how with offshore and energy industry experience to enhance development of deep sea (+30 m) offshore wind farms. The overall objective was to advance Norwegian development within this field, and pin-point technical solutions that ensured cost-efficiency of deep sea offshore wind farms.

The project comprised interdisciplinary tasks that was required for successful development of Norwegian deep sea offshore wind farms. The main goals and activities were:

  • Task 1: Progress of design tools (analytics, numerical methods and experiments) for the (structural, control, concurrent engineering) design of offshore wind energy concepts. The task includes institute research headed by Marintek and one PhD.
  • Task 2: Assessment of wind turbine design solutions adapted for deep-sea conditions, including investigation of operational and extreme behaviour. The task includes institute research headed by IFE and one PhD.
  • Task 3: Provide solutions for cost effective grid connection and system integration of large deep sea offshore wind farms. The task includes institute research headed by SINTEF Energy Research and one PhD.

The project was coordinated by SINTEF Energy research in cooperaton with

  • IFE
  • NTNU 

Key Factors

Project duration

2007 - 2009

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