Innovative sensor system for project

This gravity-based foundation (yellow and brown) bound for the Blyth Offshore Demonstrator windfarm has been fitted with a new sensor system. Picture by Chris Henderson Photography.
This gravity-based foundation (yellow and brown) bound for the Blyth Offshore Demonstrator windfarm has been fitted with a new sensor system. Picture by Chris Henderson Photography.

The latest Blyth Offshore Demonstrator windfarm giant base structure to start its journey up the River Tyne has been fitted with a groundbreaking sensor system.

It has been designed by the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult, which was established by the Government in 2013, and will ‘help the industry to improve design optimisation and reduce costs’.

This is the first time that sensors have been installed in a gravity-based foundation (GBF) and used to analyse the performance of these foundations in the challenging conditions they will be exposed to in the real-world.

They will be in place on two of the five GBFs that will be connected to the wind turbines. The data collected from them will be synchronised with ORE Catapult’s met mast, located three nautical miles off the Blyth coast.

The system is part of the Demowind-funded FS Found initiative to demonstrate and validate the new float and submerge GBFs at the design, manufacture and installation stages.

Jonathan Hughes, ORE Catapult’s technical lead on FS Found, said: “Float and submerge gravity-based foundations have the potential to be deployed without the need for expensive installation or heavy lift vessels.

“Incorporating a condition monitoring system into this first demonstration will enable the industry to improve design optimisation and reduce costs – helping to make GBFs commercially viable as a foundation solution.”

EDF Energy Renewables is building the windfarm project.