Offshore wind companies to test vibratory monopile driving

GERMANY: Five of the biggest offshore wind power companies are combining to begin a pilot project testing the use of vibrations to install monopile.

Test results could impact on the installation of the Nordsee Ost wind farm
Test results could impact on the installation of the Nordsee Ost wind farm

The EUR 6 million project will involve the installation of three 21-metre long, 4.3-metre wide monopiles using vibrations, which will then be compared to another set of the foundations installed using hammering – the current industry standard.

Under the management of the Carbon Trust's Offshore Wind Accelerator, RWE Innogy, Dong Energy, EnBW, E.ON and Vattenfall will begin the one-year on shore demonstration project near Cuxhaven on the German North Sea Coast.

It is thought using vibrations will be faster and more environmentally friendly in installing offshore wind farm projects. The technique will also look to simplify installation due to fewer tools being required.

Construction is due begin in May and should be completed by November of this year.

Jan Matthiesen of the Carbon Trust said: "The use of vibration piling has been predicted, and partly demonstrated in selected offshore applications, to decrease the piling time by more than half of that required for impact hammer driving."

Matthiesen added this technique would reduce costs of monopile installation.

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