5MW OFFSHORE WIND TURBINE PROTOTYPE
PROJECT FUNDED BY H2020 PROGRAM
Arinaga and PLOCAN (Gran Canaria). 2015-2017
The ELISA prototype, which is currently under construction in the Canary Islands , is set to become the first bottom-fixed offshore wind turbine completely installed with full independence of costly and scarce heavy lift vessels.
The ELISA technology involves a novel self-floating GBS foundation system which integrates an autolift telescopic tower, and can be fully assembled on dock. The telescopic configuration of the tower brings down the center of gravity during the towed self-floating transport, allowing the bottom foundation platform to temporarily act as a self-stable floating barge over which the complete system can be preassembled inshore.
Once ballasted to the rest on the seabed, the tower can be lifted to its final position by means of cables and conventional out-of-the-shelf heavy-lift strand jacks which are reused to lift each tower level successively. All works are carried out from a single access platform.
Expected cost reduction capabilities – as due diligence by both benchmark developers and offshore turbine manufacturers – exceed 35% when compared to Jackets or XXL Monopiles in deep waters (35m plus). It is a system excellently suited for the next generation of offshore wind turbines thanks to its direct scalability, based only on conventional and readily available equipment and means.
The technology has been developed and certified following all standards of the Technology Readiness Level (TRL).
In short, the prototype culminates a 7-year development and demonstration process, which has been supported by benchmark R&D institutions such as CDTI and the Horizon 2020 program by the EU commission under the ELISA/ELICAN projects. Those projects led by ESTEYCO, also counts with the collaboration of three partners leaders in their respective fields such as: GAMESA, ALE Heavy-Lift and DEWI-UL.
DEVELOPMENT OF OFFSHORE SUBSTRUCTURE. FLOATING FOUNDATION AND OFFSHORE TELESCOPIC TOWER
PROJECT FUNDED BY H2020 PROGRAM
Next generation offshore wind turbines are moving to deeper waters looking for more efficient wind sources. In response to this necessity, floating solutions enter the scene with a bright future.
Regarding this, one of the most exciting initiatives in the European framework, supported by the Horizon 2020 program, is the TELWIND project, led by ESTEYCO.
With its official name as “TELWIND: integrated telescopic tower and evolved spar floating substructure for low-cost Deep offshore wind and next generation of 10MW+ turbine”, a funding of over 3,5 million € and an estimated duration of 30 months, it is the only project obtaining the highest rating among the proposals presented in the last H2020 conference.
This project focuses on the development of a ground-breaking buoyant platform for offshore wind which allows to make a qualitative leap in the lowering of the construction and installation costs, thanks to its innovative system of telescopic tower and multi-body geometry of the buoyant substructure, where one of the bodies submerges ballasting the structure, improving the dynamic response and the stability of the whole.
The design introduces several innovations, for instance, the telescopic tower and the SPAR floating platform, composed of two bodies connected by steel tendons. The use of concrete guarantees construction cost reduction and, at the same time, it means significant installation cost reduction since heavy-lift vessels are no longer required.
The project, result of an intense research process with a total length of 5 years, proven its reliability with a scale prototype in laboratory, takes position as a revolutionary concept with great economic possibilities in an outstanding technological field with a great added value.
Currently, the first full-size testing in the tank of IHCantabria has been completed successfully. Its good hydrodynamic behavior, together with the definition of the remaining components of the platform as well as the detailed analysis by CAPEX and OPEX, confirms ESTEYCO’s expectations and it positions the TELWIND platform as a promising solution in the field of floating offshore wind energy.
This project emerges as the culmination of a demanding but exciting development process of the projects ELISA / ELICAN. These projects are referred to offshore wind towers, particularly to a gravity based foundation technology (Gravity Based System-GBS) self-buoyant in its marine transportation, together with a telescopic tower, both made up of concrete.
In this sense, this project exemplifies an improvement in gravity based foundations, developing a new technology which avoids completely the use of scarce and expensive marine means.
The technology is based on a Tyre Filled Nets (TFNs) system that when placed around the GBS avoids the erosion of the seabed, once the wind tower has been dragged to its final position. Furthermore, those nets are preassembled in the GBS, before leaving the harbor.
Furthermore, the combination of ESTEYCO’s extensive experience in the field of energy and precast concrete wind tower engineering, together with the experience of its associate in this project, NORFOLK MARINE, will provide the required ingredients to overtake the considerable technical difficulties the full development and experimental validation of this technology will mean.
The project includes all the required steps in order to complete the system development until its construction and assembly processes demonstration, validating thus the technology for its introduction in the market and late commercialization. In fact, the project will take advantage of the real scale prototype already set up in the mentioned projects ELISA / ELICAN as a mean for the experimental demonstration.