The offshore environment is often unpredictable, dangerous and inaccessible, which can often lead to costly delays for operations and maintenance procedures to offshore wind farms. On average, offshore wind turbines are inaccessible 7.7 days per month due to adverse weather and sea conditions, with this figure increasing more in the winter months and falling during the summer*. As wind farm projects begin to move further offshore, the ability to maintain operations in these conditions whilst simultaneously ensuring the safety of personnel is a major challenge for the UK offshore wind market.
Aberdeen-based Miros is a trusted provider of reliable, real-time ocean data to the offshore wind sector. Miros has over 35 years of experience in providing accurate ocean insights through the development of a number of sensors and systems for environmental monitoring to the global offshore maritime industry. These monitoring sensors and systems provide crucial information regarding the offshore environmental conditions, which is fundamental for successful planning, decision-making, and execution of operations and maintenance (O&M) activities. Using Miros’ sensors will allow vessel operators to increase operability by up to 15% during O&M activities and help wind farm owner/operators reduce maintenance costs by up to 80% against traditionally used Wave Buoys.
In 2019, Miros created its WaveWeather technology – a monitoring system that delivers accurate, real-time measurements of local sea state and weather conditions to any user on any device. Data gathered from windfarms is stored directly to the cloud and so the information can be accessed easily and securely anywhere in the world. The remote accessibility of this data means that offshore wind managers have access to measurable parameters such as wave height, air pressure, and wind speed and direction from any location, which in turn will reduce the operational costs associated with offshore wind farms as well as support onshore decision-making processes.
Miros’ WaveWeather is cost-effective, with no equipment submerged in water and physical maintenance reduced to a minimum. Offshore wind project operations modelling has shown that on a typical modern site (~ 500 MW to 1 GW scale) real time awareness of sea state uncertainty can provide an OPEX saving between £300k-£1 million /annum. (Source Opex model – University of Strathclyde). In addition, optimised Miros wave sensor placement will result in a 5% reduction in wasted vessel trips, therefore reducing CO2 emissions by 5%.
In 2019, Miros installed its WaveWeather technology at our Levenmouth Demonstration Turbine (LDT) in Fife, providing insights to sea surface conditions as well as a range of meteorological parameters. Granting Miros access to our LDT allowed the firm to test and validate its technology in a real-world offshore wind environment. Imitating the conditions found on an operational offshore wind farm site boosts bankability and investor confidence in innovative solutions such as WaveWeather, helping to accelerate its journey to market.
Watch the installation at LDT below:
Data from the Miros WaveWeather was subsequently fed into ORE Catapult’s Platform for Operational Data (POD), providing open access to offshore wind information for academics, researchers, and the wider community pursuing growth opportunities in renewable energy.
In June 2023, Miros installed their new Fusion sensor at Aberdeen Offshore Wind Farm. It is a unique duel sensor for measuring directional wave spectra in all areas including shallow waters. The sensor accurately collects data in real-time both next to the structure and with the dual-footprint radar technology utilising up to 13 sample areas to measure at a distance from the structure. Combining the footprints enables new levels of data performance, reliability and redundancy 24/7 and is not impacted by rain or adverse weather.