Federica Tomasini

Windcrete - Concrete Floating Platform for Wind Turbines

Blog Post created by Federica Tomasini Partner on 19-Jan-2017

Description of the technology 

Windcrete is a SPAR type floating substructure designed to carry wind turbines of up toWindcrete - Concrete floating platform for wind turbines 10 MW in deep offshore marine environments with higher reliability and lower installation, maintenance and construction costs.

Windcrete uses reinforced concrete in a monolithic structure with a smooth geometry that provides durable and reliable stability with a long lifespan and significantly reduced maintenance costs.

Thanks to its hollow structure it can be produced on shore and carried floating to the desired location for installation. Its structure also permits controlled floating to be used to erect it and install the wind turbine at low heights. This innovative installation method allows to reduce the need of heavy floating cranes which are quite expensive and scarce. After being towed in the desired location, water is replaced with ballast aggregates; thereby increasing its hydrostatic stiffness and stability. Finally, it uses a mooring system that allows to withstand the various marine and weather conditions to which the structure can be subjected in a deep offshore environment.

 

To give you a easier view of the benefits of this technology I will point out some of them:

  • the concrete spar, compared to a steel spar, costs roughly one third due to the lower cost of the raw material and the more economic production process
  • the O&M costs are overthrown due to the fact that concrete platforms are almost free from maintenance (lesson learnt from O&G platforms)

  • the platform remains stable in very severe ocean conditions without any active control systems 
  • the lifetime of the structure is meant to be more than 50 years


 

Status of the project

Windcrete concept is protected by three Spanish patents and one US patent and has achieved its proof of concept in the framework of the AFOSP project promoted by InnoEnergy. 

 

Numerical simulations and reduced scale experiments have been performed in order to assess the properties and viability of Windcrete concept. This project was very successful and now everything is ready for developing detailed engineering for the construction of a real scale prototype.

 

The team behind the project

Since 2009 a small group of professors and researchers at the UPC-BarcelonaTech in Barcelona have been working in the development of structures for floating wind turbines. The group started up with Professor Climent Molins and Professor Xavi Gironella. In 2010, Alexis Campos joined the group during his Master Thesis, first, and he kept working on the project during his PhD. Pau Trubat and Daniel Alarcón also joined the team during their Master Thesis in 2012n and 2013 respectively.  

                                       

 

For further information about the project and to know our goals, visit the website www.windcrete.com

Outcomes