DNV and its project partners have completed the first phase of a joint industry project (JIP) which has resulted in a new framework for optimizing the installation process of offshore wind turbines.

The first phase addressed "Bottom Impact and Partially Submerged Conditions." Phase two will focus on validating models and establishing common best-practice guidelines for the entire industry.

“As the industry moves further into new territory with harsher weather, less forgiving seabed conditions and seismic areas, there is an increased urgency to widen the weather window so projects can be completely more efficiently,” said JIP steering committee chairman Andries Hofman of GustoMSC BV.

The absence of guidelines and models to fully understand bottom-impact forces and operations in the semi-jacked condition triggered the initial formation of the JIP in November 2020. The early goal was to investigate operational limits and explore potential new operational practices. Reducing installation costs is key to bringing down the cost of offshore wind energy amid the drive to boost energy security, DNV said.

“The JIP work will be relevant for a long time to come, as bottom-fixed wind farms that require jackup installation will remain most cost-attractive way to diversify our energy mix," said JIP project manager Antonio Goncalves, business lead, technical advisory at DNV. “The market is developing quicker than the rules and the only way to make significant leaps is through sharing knowledge. Through better understanding of the forces are at play and their consequences, we can increase performance and safety in worse sea conditions, enabling more efficient and timely turbine installation, which is a great opportunity for the whole industry.”

The first phase resulted in a numerical model, developed by DNV and based on the input of JIP partners, to accurately predict bottom-impact forces and simulate semi-jacked conditions.  

Phase one project partners were DEME Offshore, DNV, EDF RenewablesFred. Olsen Windcarrier, GustoMSC, Huisman EquipmentJan De NulOcean WindsØrstedRWE RenewablesSeajacks UKVan Oord Offshore Wind, and Yantai CIMC Raffles Offshore.