Energyhub@Sea – Future generation for offshore wind farms operation and maintenance

Frank Adam, Chair of Wind Energy Technology (University of Rostock)
Peter Dierken, Energy Management & Offshore Wind Division (GICON GmbH)
Moe Moe Aye, Wind Energy Technology (University of Rostock)
Falk Wittmann, Energy Management & Offshore Wind Division (GICON GmbH)
Clemens Schmitt, Energy Management & Offshore Wind Division (GICON GmbH)
Alexandru Cobzaru, ICEPRONAV Engineering SRL

Offshore renewable energy resources are undeniably receiving growing attention due to their great potential contributions to meet the global sustainable energy goals. Rapid developments in offshore technology has enabled the market transition to farther offshore. Despite these impressive improvements, the levelized of cost of energy (LCOE) of offshore wind power in particular is still challenging the developers in implementing offshore wind farms in deeper waters. With the increase in distances from the shore, the logistics and transportation challenges are demanding to develop potential solutions for offshore operations and maintenance (O&M). In this regards, Energyhub@Sea will offer a technical solution for offshore wind O&M targeting low LCOE.

The Energyhub@Sea concept is one of the four research applications of the Space@Sea project funded by EU’s Horizon 2020 research program. This paper and presentation deals with the final design of a cost-effective and energy self-sufficient offshore wind O&M platform. The concept integrates four different functions within the same space such as O&M services, accommodation facilities for service staffs, renewable energy extraction and smart storage system, and housing of spare parts. The primary energy for the entire hub is supplied from a medium sized wind turbine coupled with photovoltaic modules and the wave energy converter. A special focus is put on the development of a modular and standardized system, which can be easily adapted to different climates. Moreover, the design considers the needs of future users, and health, safety and environmental risk related issues. A basic design for the Mediterranean Sea site based on offshore gearless wind turbines in a farm with a capacity of 100 units of 10 MW is presented and the results show that Energyhub@Sea can be a viable solution for offshore wind parks saving time and costs required for O&M activities. This study contributes useful inputs for industries towards the implementation of an offshore onsite-based O&M platform.

Keywords – Energyhub@Sea, offshore wind maintenance platform, energy self-sufficient

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Frank ADAM carries out important research into offshore wind and floating substructures. His main focus is on logistical concepts, coupled simulations, the use of novel materials for maritime constructions, and intelligent decommissioning concepts for offshore wind turbines. He heads up the TLP (tension leg platform), Space@Sea, DT-NeO-WEA, OWSplus and NuLIMAS development projects at GICON and the University of Rostock. He also serves as the ERASMUS+ representative at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Marine Technology and lectures the Practical Wind Turbine Construction Initiative at the LWET.

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