Piling test gets good vibrations for offshore wind

A Carbon Trust Offshore Wind Accelerator-led programme has devised a methodology to pre-determine the load-bearing capacity of vibrated piles as part of a project to test alternative ways of installing offshore foundations.

What It appears that vibration-driven piling could make installing monopiles and jackets offshore quieter and up to 10 times faster.

The test involved a comparison of the conventional method of impact hammering with the vibration of steel piles on land.

It aimed to prove whether vibratory piling can offer a faster and more environmentally friendly method of installing steel foundations for offshore wind farms and to evaluate the method with regard to stability.

The project participants are RWE Innogy, Bilfinger Offshore, DONG Energy, EnBW, E.ON and Vattenfall.

RWE Innogy said it now plans to build on these tests and launch an additional subproject intended to investigate ways of optimising the installation methodology itself.

Carbon Trust director of innovation Jan Matthiesen commented :

“Finding innovative methods to reduce the cost of installation will help to bring down the cost of offshore wind, making it competitive with conventional energy sources.”

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