Sensors that have been described as ground breaking have been installed into two gravity-based foundation structures that will be used on a new wind farm in the North Sea.
The instrumentation on EDF Energy Renewable’s Blyth Offshore Demonstrator Wind Farm is an industry first and will allow performance of the foundations to be analysed while in service.
EDF’s Blyth project will have five wind turbines – the first to use float and submerge foundation designs – installed around 5km off the coast of Blyth in Sunderland with a generating capacity of 41.5MW.
The sensors have been designed and fitted by Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult and data collected will be synchronised with the wind farm’s met mast to provide details of how the foundations perform in challenging real-world conditions.
The sensors are part of the FS Found project funded by Demowind through which ORE is partnering with EDF and Royal Bam Group to demonstrate and validate a new float and submerge gravity-based foundation design.
“Float and submerge gravity-based foundations have the potential to be deployed without the need for expensive installation or heavy lift vessels,” said ORE technical lead on FS Found Jonathan Hughes.
“Incorporating a condition monitoring system into this first demonstration of this new technology will help the industry to improve design optimisation and reduce costs, helping to make GBFs commercially viable as a foundation solution.”