The U.K.-based Carbon Trust has announced the winners of its competition to find novel methods to inspect offshore wind substructures.
The competition, launched as part of the Carbon Trust’s Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA) program, targeted companies with new or adaptable techniques for inspecting offshore wind foundations. It sought to address four specific challenges: weld inspection for monopile foundations, weld inspection for jacket foundations, grout inspection for monopile foundations and grout inspection for jacket foundations.
The challenge winners were as follows:
- Weld inspection for monopile foundations – Oceaneering International Services Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Oceaneering International Inc., for the development of an inspection tool adapted from previous use in oil and gas;
- Weld inspection for jacket foundations (two winners) – Oceaneering, using its experience in oil and gas to provide a technique for inspection of nodes, and Kraken Robotics, a German company, for developing a high-resolution laser imaging sensor for inspection of subsea assets.
- Grout inspection for jacket foundations – Next Geosolutions UKCS, in collaboration with Ashtead Technology and Hydrason, with a technique based on the use of sonar to detect gaps, cracks and disbanding of grout; and
- Grout inspection for monopile foundations (two winners) – Uniper Technologies, in collaboration with the British Geological Survey, for developing an ultrasonic interferometric, and Next Geosolutions UKCS with the same technology as for the jacket inspection.
The winners will initially receive a range of tailored support from the Carbon Trust, the OWA partners, and technical contractors INNOSEA and Everoze. This will include marketing advice through to engineering and industry-specific support. Following this phase, the techniques will then be tested at operational offshore wind farms to prove their ability in real-life conditions.
“This competition has once again shown the impressive level of innovation and ingenuity that exists within the industry,” says Michael Stephenson, project manager of the Foundations Working Area of the OWA. “The range of winners also highlights the transferability of many techniques from other industries into offshore wind and the potential for other players in these markets to offer services and technologies that could improve operations from both a cost and health and safety perspective.”