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Ørsted and Oxford sign wind turbine foundation optimisation deal

Offshore wind farm

Ørsted and University of Oxford have signed a five year research agreement to work on optimisation of foundation design for offshore wind turbines.

According to Ørsted, more advanced geotechnical designs for foundations can make a major impact on cost reduction as the foundations contribute significantly to the overall wind turbine capital costs.

The company has already collaborated with the university on a range of projects over the last 10 years, including the recently completed Pisa project, that has led to significant improvements in the design of offshore wind foundations.

This agreement builds on Ørsted’s long-standing relationships with the UK academic sector to drive innovations in renewable energy, as well as supporting education and skills for the future of the offshore wind industry. For the past seven years, Ørsted has also collaborated with researchers at the Durham Energy Institute (DEI) and is co-funding an Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) grant programme.

Ørsted Wind Power head of research and development Christina Aabo said: “We’re excited about this agreement with the University of Oxford, a world leading institution, which will help us better understand how we can optimise the design of wind turbine foundations. This partnership will enable us to further mature our foundation designs to support even bigger turbines in even deeper waters, lowering costs and risk level at the same time.”

Research under this new agreement will further develop, extend and embed new geotechnical design ideas into well-defined engineering methods for offshore wind power. The focus will be on cyclic loading, which is an important element of safe design, especially for deeper water and larger turbines.

It is hoped that the research activities will deliver new design methods to address cyclic loading, through doctoral and post-doctoral research projects, including on theoretical development, soil laboratory testing and medium scale field tests.

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