The consortium behind the EUHorizon 2020-funded FLOTANT project has completed the validation of a dynamic cable concept for use in deep-water floating wind-energy installations.
The project consortium, which consists of 17 partners from eight countries,including engineering, design and R&D consultancyInnosea, Hellenic Cables and the University of Exeter, is working to develop conceptual and basic engineering for a hybrid concrete-plastic floating wind farm, includinglooking at innovative solutions for anchoring and mooring systems, as well as dynamic cabling (dynamic cables, also called umbilicals, link the floating structure to the main fixed power-export cable on the seabed). Its objective is to make floating wind farms more cost-effective while also increasing making the subsea design of floating wind farms installed in deeper waters – from 100 to 600 metres deep – more robust and flexible.
In July, the consortium completed validation model tests for its low-cost floating wind technology for wind turbines producing more than 10 megawatts in the offshore basin at MARIN, the Maritime Research Institute Netherlands. And now, its research into dynamic cables has taken a significant step forward with the validation of its innovative design, which features braided armour for the protection of the cables’ cross-section.
The new designs, which were developed by Innosea, combine the application of an outer jacket made of carbon-fibre-reinforced composite with the development of a solution for sensor integration and interconnection of fibre-optic sensors for monitoring the cable’s structural condition. The validation tests were conducted at the Dynamic Marine Component at the University of Exeter.
‘FLOTANT seeks to open the possibility to develop floating wind in even deeper waters than is possible today, unlocking potential for far greater wind power resources at lower cost,’ said Mattias Lynch, engineering director at Innosea. ‘The innovative braided armour cross-section design of the dynamic cabling in such extreme water depths is pivotal to the project’s success.’
‘Our participation in the project has given us the opportunity to take part in the development of reliable, sustainable and cost-efficient dynamic cables for even deeper water applications for offshore floating wind,’ said Anastasia Moraiti, a design engineer at Hellenic Cables. ‘The study and design of innovative dynamic low-weight cables that could be used in severe conditions was a great challenge.’