E.ON is now protecting all 60 steel foundations of the Arkona offshore wind park in the German Baltic Sea with a special anti-corrosion coating.
E.ON says it is the first company to completely assemble the monopiles of an offshore wind farm with the environmentally friendly, corrosion-protection technology. During the 25-year operating period of the wind farm, the metal-dissolving corrosion process will be significantly reduced, and deposits into the sea will be reduced by several hundred metric tons, the company claims.
E.ON developed the thermal spray aluminium (TSA) process for coating the monopiles with Rambøll Germany in coordination with the competent authorities. EEW SPC and Krebs Korrosionsschutzthen then developed solutions on behalf of E.ON to implement the process industrially at their locations in Rostock, Germany. To this end, existing coating halls were also expanded, and the world’s first fully automated coating line was developed, says E.ON.
During the coating process, a robot with two arc burners sprays a layer of molten aluminum onto the foundations. The process, carried out under stringent safety and environmental-protection standards, is largely dust-free, notes E.ON. The surface is then sealed with resin.
The TSA process has mainly been used as corrosion protection for smaller steel components underwater or for larger components above water – e.g, in offshore substations. Now, the process is being applied for the first time on an industrial scale for the foundations of the Arkona turbines. Because the process is automated, the alternative coating method can lead to significant cost-savings compared with conventional corrosion protection, according to E.ON.
“We will now analyze and further optimize the process in order to use it for future offshore wind projects,” says Sven Utermöhlen, chief operating officer of E.ON Climate & Renewables.
Meanwhile, all 60 foundations with the TSA coating for the Arkona offshore wind farm have been produced. They have a maximum length of 81 meters and a diameter of up to almost 8 meters.
The 385 MW Arkona project is located 35 kilometers northeast of the island of Rügen. The wind farm is a joint venture between E.ON and Statoil.