At RenewableUK’s Global Offshore Wind, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy showcased innovations funded by the €100 million DemoWind project.

Among the completed projects presented were:

  • FSFound – the development and demonstration of float-and-submerged gravity base foundations. The foundations had V164 turbines on them in EDF’s Blyth Offshore Demonstrator Wind Farm. This concept enables the fabrication of foundations close to the offshore site. As standard tugs are used, installation costs reduced. Inspection and maintenance cost would also be reduced.
  • XL-Blade – static and fatigue testing of the world’s longest (88.4m) turbine blades. The blades were produced by Adwen and LM Windpower. This project demonstrated a bi-axial blade  excitation using a ground-based exciter for the flapwise direction and a resonant mass exciter for the edgewise direction. It also deployed instrumentation on an offshore met mast to create a dataset of offshore environmental conditions. ORE Catapult is now working to get accreditation under IEC/ISO 17025 to include dual axis testing.
  • Compact High Efficiency Generator (CHEG) – design, manufacture and test a Magnomatics 500kW PDD® (Pseudo Direct Drive) Generator. It showed that the CHEG’s higher efficiency, compact size and low O & M costs could deliver significant reductions in cost.
  • Compact Holistic Efficient Floating Turbine (CHEF) – an 8MW offshore, floating wind turbine solution with a floating concrete spar and a magnetically geared PDD® generator. A scaled version was tested in a wave basin. Testing showed the active heeling compensation system as part of the reduced draft concrete spar. This reduced LCOE, increased generator efficiency and made the nacelle lighter. Other benefits included cheaper solid ballast, and simplified transportation and installation.

These projects are just 4 out of the 13 of cost reduction innovations that DemoWind has supported. I have enjoyed my role in advising BEIS Renewable Innovation on these projects and seeing the first ones successfully conclude.

Mike Blanch