Floating Offshore Wind Technologies for the Atlantic Frontier (AtlanticFloat)

The programme for government has committed to installing at least 30GW of floating wind off the Irish Atlantic coast. The offshore wind sector generally assumes that the commercial roll out of floating wind will be a natural extrapolation from fixed offshore wind. However, installing and operating floating wind farms is extremely challenging and a number of issues remain unaddressed. It has been demonstrated that floating platforms can be developed to support 15MW+ turbines, but the viability of floating windfarms in North Atlantic environments, which are among the most extreme in the world, remains unproven. Floating platforms are dynamic and move in response to the environmental forcing conditions, i.e. wind & wave. These platform motions can impact accessibility, working conditions and component lifetimes.

This project focuses on the dynamic nature of floating wind turbines in Atlantic conditions, and the impact that will have on the structural design of the platform, turbine and moorings, as well as the nacelle working conditions for O&M activity. The premise is that the motion of current platform designs deployed in Atlantic sites will limit O&M, impact reliability and increase CAPEX. The project will determine the criteria that platforms will need to achieve in order to operate reliability and achieve 90+% availability. In addition to addressing fundamental questions related to floating platform requirements, AtlanticFloat will also contribute to the development of an innovative floating platform and an LRD integrated mooring system that reduces platform loadings and motions as well as the footprint of the floating wind turbine.

 

Partners – UCC (lead), MTU (NMCI), DOT, Rockall Research, Wind Energy Ireland

The project is funded by SEAI as part of the 2023 RD&D Funding Programme https://www.seai.ie/grants/research-funding/research-development-and-demonstration-fund/