Formula 1 | Technology from F1 to offshore wind turbines

A technology from F1 would make it possible to establish maritime wind farms beyond the current limit of 60-70 meters depth.

Thanks to a grant for industrial research given by the prestigious Royal Academy of Engineering in Great Britain, Agathoklis Giaralis, associate professor of structural dynamics at the “City, University of London” and the ABL Group (Nantes engineering company Innosea part of this group), will go together in a research project that aims to expand the use of offshore wind turbines attached to the bottom of deeper waters and thus present a higher potential for wind energy production.

Motion control technology, first developed for the suspension of Formula 1 cars and then used successfully for the seismic protection of buildings, is the origin of this scientific project, which should aim to bring a radical change to the existing concepts of foundations of monopile and jacket type. .

As part of the project, a new design protocol for wind turbines that combines minimal dimensioning of the wind turbine support structure with optimal tuning of innovative vibration dampers to minimize critical stresses due to wind and waves will be put in place.

“The use of new inertial mass dampers in conjunction with the optimization of the design of foundations and masts has the potential to make fixed foundations more robust while reducing their weight and thus their costs.” confirms Agathoklis Giaralis.

“The successful design of ‘inters’ – which has reduced the amount of structural steel in 15-storey buildings by 30%, as we recently demonstrated around an EPSRC-funded project in the UK – could make the deployment of bottom-mounted offshore wind turbines viable above about 60-70 meters depth, which is the current limit and can also make projects in shallow water more competitive.” continues the researcher from City, University of London.

This new technology can also be a great advantage when used in harsh weather environments such as typhoon areas.

Although this project is currently in the early development phase, the scientific team expects to obtain the first convincing results very quickly, with a quantification of the gains towards the end of 2023. “It is probably still early to reveal exactly what the practical advances in the use of inert technology would be, but if we can achieve an insertion depth of 10-15 meters deeper than today, that would already be a significant gain,” concludes the researcher.

This project will be able to count on support from INNOSEA, which will provide all its experience with the design of foundations for offshore wind turbines.

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