16 February 2015

NGI (Norwegian Geotechnical Institute), and partners Strainstall, install sensors on innovative new offshore wind turbine foundation.

Strainstall, part of James Fisher and Sons plc, has been subcontracted by the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (NGI) to install sensors, as part of their Structural and Environmental Monitoring (SEM) solution, on to a new 'Suction Bucket Jacket Foundation', which is currently being trialled at the Borkum Riffgrund 1 Offshore Wind Farm in Germany.

The innovative foundation, based on similar foundations which have used successfully within the oil and gas industry, have been designed to help cut the costs of electricity from offshore wind farms. The structure was successfully deployed in August 2014 by Dong Energy as part of its collaboration with the UK's Carbon Trust Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA).

The tripod foundation structure has been equipped with 126 different sensors from the turbine tower down to the foundations, below the water line and also below the mudline, utilising a method of mechanical protection developed by NGI. The comprehensive SEM system was developed by NGI and the long term monitoring scheme is unique within the offshore wind industry in terms of underwater instrumentation. The extensive instrumentation work was carried out by Strainstall and NGI and started at Bladt Industries, Aalborg, Denmark and was finalized offshore, Borkum Riffgrund in the German sector of the North Sea.

This project froms the culmination of work by nine of the top industry operators to overcome some of the key challenges facing offshore wind farms in the future. The insight provided by NGI's monitoring system will help the OWA project partners to evaluate whether this new concept can be utilised throughout the offshore wind industry.

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