Articulated Wind Column (AWC)

  • Articulation at the base provides for a compliant column with reduced forces on the column and base
  • Buoyancy and hydrodynamic inertia provide stability
  • Improved behaviour/performance of the column is achieved with either increased diameter, or the addition of buoyancy elements below the wave zone
  • Most viable and economic solution for water depths 50m-200m
  • Technology of the articulated column is based on 40 years well proven oil and gas experience

Motion Behaviour

Sizing of the AWC is determined by the allowable motion criteria for turbine (inclination, acceleration). Maximum operational inclination can typically reach over 5 degrees for extremely limited periods of time (maximum allowable criteria to be agreed with turbine manufacturer). For the day-to-day case, motions are anticipated to be very limited.

Ratio of column diameter/MW decreases noticeably with turbine capacity, and therefore is beneficial in terms of costs. Motion Behaviour improves with water depth.

As an example, for a 3 MW Wind turbine located in deeper water of 80 metres, the statistical distribution of the column inclination, due to the wave and currents indicate inclinations of less than 1 degree for 97% of the time.

For an 8 MW wind turbine in similar water depths the same inclinations can be expected, and these can be determined by adjusting the diameter of the column.

AWC wind turbine substructure

Advantages

  • The AWC is a low cost (construction, installation and operation) wind turbine substructure for deep waters.
  • Suitable for water depths in the range 50m to 200m for large to extra large turbines.
  • Applicable to deep waters closer to shore, reducing the grid connection costs and grid electrical losses.
  • Its size is designed according to the allowable motion criteria of the wind turbine.
  • The AWC is based upon a robust design concept which has been proven to resist harsh North Sea conditions.
  • Quick and safe installation process, as well a equally quick, safe andenvironmental friendly decommissioning process.

Patents

Notification of the award of the EU patent was made in Q2 2013, and the registration of this is imminent.

The patents cover several variations of the AWC. However they fundamentally include a compliant buoyant column attached to a joint and foundation located on the seabed providing a structure onto which a Wind Turbine Generator (WTG) can be mounted.

The patent covers all European Union (EU) countries.

Patent pending in the USA and other countries are under consideration.