Modelling port and offshore installation operations for floating wind farms

Zohreh Sarichloo, Adrian Murphy, Joseph Butterfield, W. J. Doran, Paddy Hannigan, Cian Desmond

Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster

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Many recent efficiency studies in the offshore wind industry have focused on lowering the levelised cost of energy. The cost reduction is crucial for the future deployment of offshore wind farms which could be located further offshore. The future offshore wind farms will use larger turbines with higher power rated capacity and innovative cost-effective floating support structures. Larger components within the assembled wind turbines will affect the whole process of onshore fabrication and assembly as well as offshore installation operations. Current solutions for both transport and installation of floating turbines have bypassed many existing issues for offshore fixed turbines construction. These issues include the limited weather windows for assembly, lifting operations at the offshore site, and the need for specialized jack-up installation vessels which are expensive and typically have low availability. The assembly operations for floating turbines are mostly carried out onshore and large floating structures are towed to the site for final installation operations. As both fabrication and assembly operations take place at the port, the port physical characteristics and requirements become more crucial, when compared to the equivalent processes for fixed turbines.
In this study, we investigate the effect of port to installation site distance as well as the impact of vessel number to fabrication line ratio on the installation time of a floating wind farm with 100 turbines. This is conducted to aid decision-makers, such as site developers and port operators, in determining best vessel number to fabrication line ratio for specific wind farm and ports.’ This is a single example of the kind of relationships that can be developed through modelling.
Here, an innovative submersible concept developed by CENER supporting the INNWIND 10MW wind turbine is considered as the reference floater platform [1]. The integrated procedures at and between the port and offshore site include fabrication, assembly, load-out, and ballasting tasks of the floater, turbine assembly, towing, and installation operations.
A Discrete Event Simulation (DES) method is used to model key port and installation processes, using the open-source Python-based code SimPy [2]. As suggested in the literature, DES is a potential method to model such a complex system where different actors are involved with reasonable computational costs as the system state does not change between two consecutive events.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted - 14 Feb 2022
EventThe 2022 Annual Wind Energy Ireland Conference - Clayton Burlington, Dublin, Ireland
Duration: 13 Apr 202214 Apr 2022


ConferenceThe 2022 Annual Wind Energy Ireland Conference
Abbreviated titleWEI 2022
Internet address


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