Ørsted is already working with several universities to help improve the design and performance of offshore wind turbines with the goal to drive down offshore wind costs. For example, it has a major collaboration on turbine design with Durham University.
The new agreement with the University of Oxford will focus specifically on the foundation design. It builds on long-standing relationships with the UK academic sector to drive innovations in renewable energy, as well as supporting education and skills for the future of the offshore wind industry. For the past seven years, Ørsted has also collaborated with researchers at the Durham Energy Institute (DEI) and is co-funding an Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) grant program.
“We’re excited about this agreement with the University of Oxford,” says Christina Aabo, Ørsted’s Head of R&D at Wind Power. “A leading institution which will help us better understand how we can optimize the design of wind turbine foundations. This partnership will enable us to further mature our foundation designs to support even bigger turbines in even deeper waters, lowering costs and risk level at the same time.”
The research under the framework agreement will further develop, extend and embed new geotechnical design ideas into well-defined engineering methods for offshore wind power. The focus will be on cyclic loading, which is an important element of safe design, especially for deeper water and larger turbines.
Cyclic loading is the repeated loading that comes from the action of wind and waves on the structure, as well as the operation of the turbine. The research activities will deliver new design methods to address this cyclic loading, through doctoral and post-doctoral research projects, including on theoretical development, soil laboratory testing and medium scale field tests.
As a provider of offshore wind power, Ørsted is committed to working with world-leading academic research groups to drive innovation and competitiveness, while at the same time improving knowledge across the industry.
“This exciting new phase of collaboration with Ørsted will put the next generation of offshore wind farms on more secure and cost-effective foundations through robust design methods for cyclic loading,” said Byron Byrne, Professor of Engineering Science at the University of Oxford. “This will be challenging but essential if the cost of offshore wind energy is to be further reduced.”
Filed Under: News, Offshore wind, Projects, Turbines