TÜV SÜD supports innovative project for offshore wind turbine foundations

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Acting on behalf of Spanish civil engineering and consulting firm Esteyco, TÜV SÜD is supporting the design and development of an innovative foundation for offshore wind turbines in the ELISA and ELICAN projects funded by the European Union. A pilot wind turbine was installed off the eastern coast of Gran Canaria in June 2018. TÜV SÜD experts have accompanied the project from design examination to pilot-wind turbine installation.

Within the scope of the ELISA and ELICAN projects, an industrial consortium under the leadership of Esteyco is developing an innovative support structure for offshore wind turbines to be used in deep water. The combination of a telescopic tower and a concrete foundation which acts as a self-buoyant platform during transport cuts the installation costs of offshore wind turbines significantly.

The entire structure can be assembled from precast and in-situ concrete elements in the dry dock. During sea transport, the foundation acts as a floating body. The telescopic tower is retracted to ensure a low centre of gravity and thus improve the platform’s floating stability. During installation, the foundation is lowered and the telescopic tower extended. Transportation and installation do not require costly use of special installation vessels and cranes. The ELICAN prototype of the support structure is designed for a wind turbine with a capacity of 5 MW. The two projects, ELISA and ELICAN, are funded by the European Union within the Horizon 2020 programme.

Within the scope of the ELISA and ELICAN projects, TÜV SÜD’s experts examine the design of this innovative concept and provide inspection and monitoring services during prototype installation. Examination of the design and support structure and of static and dynamic analyses requires close collaboration between naval architects and experts in load analysis of wind turbine structures and concrete structures. Inspection of the condition of installation is particularly challenging.