Robotics & Autonomous Systems

Find out more about our robotics and autonomous systems testing and validation facilities.

Find out more

Electrical Infrastructure Research Hub

The Catapult has appointed the University of Strathclyde and the University of Manchester to form the Electrical Infrastructure Research Hub.

Find out more

Automation & Engineering Solutions

Find out more about our work in robotics, autonomous systems and artificial intelligence.

Find out more

Stay Current

Dig deeper into the biggest issues facing offshore wind, wave and tidal energy with our series of Analysis & Insight papers.

Find out more

Innovation Challenges

Solving these technology innovation challenges will help drive down the cost of offshore renewable energy, with positive effects for the industry and UK economy. If your technology has the answer, get in touch via our contact form on the Innovation Challenges page.

Find out more

TLPWIND UK takes floating turbines to new heights

A new design of floating turbine was demonstrated successfully yesterday as the collaboration behind it says it is nearing readiness for a full commercial test.

The TLPWIND project, led by Iberdrola Engineering & Construction (IEC) and bringing together the expertise of the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult and the University of Strathclyde, saw the development of a Tension Leg Platform (TLP) turbine foundation to deliver a lightweight and stable solution for floating wind.

At a showcase held on Thursday (23 June), a scale model of the technology was shown in action to prove the concept, which could lead to an attractive new technology for future offshore wind developments.

Juan Amate Lopez from IEC said:

“This collaboration has helped take the TLPWIND® design forward from being an exciting concept to an even more exciting, working prototype. From design all the way through to testing, we have watched with great enthusiasm as our idea has been brought to reality.”

The University of Strathclyde conducted scale model tests to prove the dynamic nature and seakeeping abilities of the TLPWIND® platform, utilising state-of-the-art facilities to simulate the conditions likely to be experienced off the north east coast of Scotland. Replicating conditions of up to 16m waves and 49m/s wind gusts on a 1:36 scale model, it was able to show that the concept would work in real-world conditions.

A subsequent Levelised Cost of Energy (LCoE) analysis for the design, basing calculations on a 500MW offshore farm based in UK waters, was carried out by ORE Catapult, which estimated an LCoE of £95/MWh by 2025 – although that could be as low as £91/MWh. Forecasts suggest the TLPWIND® concept, using larger turbines, could deliver costs as low as £88/MWh by 2030 and potentially as low as £64/MWh by 2050.

Gavin Smart, Investment & Financial Analyst for ORE Catapult said:

“Floating wind is likely to be an extremely important technology as we aim to drive down the overall cost of renewable energy. TLPWIND® is a novel solution that could unlock the potential in deeper water sites than we can currently access, while delivering a platform for growth.”

In estimating the LCoE of these turbines, ORE Catapult ran projections anticipating more than 50 different scenarios, combining market rates, technological development and site variations.  Financial projections included full life cycle costs from development, through fabrication and installation, to operation and finally decommissioning.

The University of Strathclyde’s Professor Sandy Day said: “This technology has been shown to work and it has been shown to reduce cost. We carried out rigorous testing of the scale models and found that even under stressful conditions, the platform is both stable and robust.”

Delegates at the event were able to see a scale model of the technology in action, including a tow test and demonstration of installation.


Back to Press Releases

Published
Mon 27 Jun 2016
Last Updated
Tue 23 Jan 2018

Share

Related Articles

Cookies on Catapult explained

To comply with EU directives we now provide detailed information about the cookies we use. To find out more about cookies on this site, what they do and how to remove them, see our information about cookies. Click OK to continue using this site.

OK