Siemens Gamesa has announced a partnership with Universal Foundation to undertake field trials of an industrialised suction bucket concept.
Under the agreement, the mono suction becket foundation design – that has the potential to be mass produced – will be used on the Northland Power’s Deutsche Bucht offshore wind farm.
The aim of the concept is to decrease the cost of foundation construction and installation by 40% and the work at Deutsche Bucht is the first commercial use of the design.
The work on the new foundation design is being funded by a €3.8M (£3.4M) grant from Offshoreenergy.dk has been awarded 3.8m EUR by the Energy Technology Development and Demonstration Programme (EUDP) via the Danish Ministry of Energy, Utilities and Climate. The work is being undertaken by a consortium of businesses in the offshore windfarm sector including Siemens Gamesa, Universal Foundation, Aalborg University, Fred Olsen Windcarrier and Offshoreenergy.
“By applying this innovative fabrication method to suction bucket technology in offshore wind, the steel plate thickness can be reduced to below 20mm, compared to today’s typical thickness of 30-40mm for this type of foundation,” said Siemens Gamesa project manager Finn Daugaard Madsen.
“This means use of lower costs steel with higher supply availability. The assembly process is much more suitable for high volume manufacturing, and hence supply bottlenecks can be eliminated and costs reduced. A key element is to ensure the structural integrity of the foundation both during installation and operation.”
Two out of the 33 wind turbines at Deutsche Bucht will use the new foundation design and are extended to be installed in spring next year.