Offshore wind hunts for new subsea tech

A research programme for the offshore wind industry has launched a competition to find new subsea inspection technologies. Carbon Trust’s Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA) hopes innovations to provide better data […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

A research programme for the offshore wind industry has launched a competition to find new subsea inspection technologies.

Carbon Trust’s Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA) hopes innovations to provide better data on grout integrity and welds for turbine structures will help reduce costs in the sector.

Winners of the competition will be able to test their technologies on existing foundations at fully operational wind farms, as well as receive mentoring and advice from the nine OWA industry partners, which collectively represent more than 75% of the European market.

These groups – which include DONG, Innogy and Statoil – will help the new technologies access the market and potentially become part of the normal subsea inspection strategy for offshore developers.

Inspection methods do not currently provide a sufficient quality of data, limiting knowledge on the integrity of structures.

This can lead to costly levels of precaution in the inspection regime, such as preventative maintenance or more regular inspections – new ways to provide asset owners with better knowledge could significantly reduce costs by optimising inspection techniques.

Michael Stephenson, Project Manager for the Foundations Research Area said: “The Offshore Wind Accelerator is focused on continuing to reduce the costs of offshore wind and with this call it is hoped that we can find the next generation of inspection technologies to help the industry continue to drive down prices.”

The competition will run until 13 October 2017.