Offshore wind turbines

DNV GL has announced three Joint Industry Projects (JIPs) which are aimed at developing recommended practices for the global wind industry to further develop industrial accepted design practices and methods, lower risks and reduce costs.

The global energy advisory, testing and certification authority is to perform initiatives on ‘Dynamic analysis of floating wind turbines’, ‘Validation of turbulence models’ and ‘Integrated approach to bolted joints’.
Offshore wind turbines
All three initiatives are aimed at targeted outcomes including state-of-the-art industrial accepted methods to reduce risk and cost. The work being performed is seen as important in helping to secure the future of the global wind industry – especially offshore.

“Coupled dynamic analysis of floating wind turbines”

Floating wind provides an opportunity to globalize offshore wind as a technology in a wide range of international markets. A key technical barrier to making this vision a reality is the ability to carry out a sufficiently accurate fully dynamic analysis, which requires integration of several engineering disciplines.

At this moment there’s no guideline on how to run such analysis, how to validate the numeral design model, and which complexity level is needed for the different project stages. The aim of this joint industry project (JIP) is to gain a deeper understanding of the coupled dynamic analysis of floating wind turbines and develop recommendations to effectively guide designers and engineers. The project is scheduled to start in the second half of 2015, with final review and publication of recommended practices in the first half of 2017. A total of 8-12 participating companies are anticipated.

“Validation of turbulence models”

The aim of this JIP is to gain a deeper understanding of which turbulence methods should be used under which circumstances. Specific recommendations shall be published to guide the industry through the load validation and site assessment process, which relies on accurate turbulence models. The project is scheduled to start in the second half of 2015, with final review and publication of recommended practices in the first quarter of 2017. A total of 15-20 participating companies are anticipated.

“Integrated approach to design, installation and maintenance of heavy duty bolted joints”

Bolted joints are often the weak link in the design of wind turbine structures and in some cases their strength may even limit the design options for the components they join together. Significant cost and material savings could be achieved through optimizing structural bolted joints by employing more ambitious design philosophies than traditional approaches.

The aim of this JIP is to enable wind turbine designers to further optimize the structural bolted joints and thus the dimensions and weights of the joined parts, while lowering the risk of damage in the field. It will also enable wind farm operators to reduce costs related to inspection, corrosion protection and retightening of bolted joints which make up a major part of the operating expenses, especially offshore. The project is scheduled to start in autumn 2015 and is planned to run until the end of 2016. A total of 6-10 participating companies are anticipated

Kim Mørk, DNV GL’s Executive Vice President, Renewables Certification, says: “With the JIPs announced today we continue to deliver on our offshore wind cost reduction manifesto pledges of 2014 – helping to help do offshore wind right, differently and better. DNV GL has a long tradition of innovation and invests 5% of its revenue each year in codes and standards and long term cutting-edge projects.”

“As a part of this, we initiate Joint Industry Projects where we team up with key external stakeholders to develop technical solutions for the industry. JIPs are partly financed by the participants and are a vehicle to drive the business forward meeting expressed needs. Key to our success with the JIP concept is that we publish the technical outcome through industry standards and recommended practices.”

Last year DNV GL launched its vision for the future of offshore wind in a cost reduction manifesto, including a commitment to work collaboratively with industry to help reduce offshore wind costs by up to 40% and thus secure a sustainable future for this sector.

The announcement was made on the same day that  a study from EY asserted that the European offshore wind industry must shed 26 per cent of outlays to reach cost-competitiveness with conventional forms of energy by 2023.

The report states that the industry must significantly reduce costs over the next five years through a number of key actions, outlining where savings can be found.

These actions include deploying larger turbines to increase energy capture, fostering competition between industrial players, commissioning new projects, and tackling challenges in the supply chain such as construction facilities and installation equipment.

Alongside the release of the EY report, three of the biggest names in offshore wind have initiated a joint declaration – called ‘United Industry’ – as part of a commitment to reducing costs in the sector.

Dong Energy, MHI Vestas and Siemens Wind Power and Renewables have pledged to undertake joint and individual actions across the whole of the value chain to deliver “major long-term and tangible advancements.”

Michael Hannibal, CEO Offshore of Siemens Wind Power and Renewables, said: “Cost reduction remains a top priority of the offshore wind industry. We need to create profitable investments for offshore projects independent of subsidies. In a united industry, all stakeholders across the whole value chain are equally responsible to contribute and deliver. Siemens takes full ownership of this challenge. If we all do that, we will win.”


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