Suction-bucket foundations installed

Posted on 12 Apr 2018 and read 411 times
Suction-bucket foundations installedOne of the world’s largest floating cranes — the Asian Hercules III — has installed the first of 11 suction-bucket jacket foundations at the European Offshore Wind Development Centre (EOWDC) in Aberdeen Bay.

Operator Vattenfall (www.vattenfall.com) said this took just 15hr, and it was the first time engineers had installed this type of foundation in the UK.

The 1,800-tonne steel structures — a weight equivalent to almost 10 Boeing 747s — are installed with a single offshore lift, reducing the amount of noise generated (noisy hydraulic rams typically drive piles into the sea floor, so the suction buckets bring “considerable environmental benefits”).

The upturned buckets can be rapidly embedded into the seafloor to create secure foundations; later in spring, they will serve as the base for MHI Vestas’s V164-8.4MW wind turbines.

Project director Adam Ezzamel said: “By enabling faster and smarter installation, this technology will drive down offshore wind costs considerably and provide a further foundation option at challenging sites; it will also allow for easier and complete decommissioning.

“These foundations are the first visible structures offshore for the EOWDC, which we hope will go some way towards establishing the North East as a centre for offshore wind innovation.”

As Scotland’s largest offshore test and demonstration facility, the 92.4MW EOWDC will trial next-generation technology and will generate the equivalent of 70% of Aberdeen’s domestic electricity needs, displacing 132,977 tonnes of CO2 annually.

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