TU Delft: TU Delft on board the world largest crane vessel for exploring future Offshore Wind Turbines

TU Delft researchers David Fidalgo Domingos, Peter Meijers and Panagiota Atzampou, boarded Sleipnir (world’s largest crane vessel) in a pioneering project. The FOX project is the result of a collaboration between TUDelft, Heerema Marine Contractors (HMC) and DOT B.V., with the goal of exploring Floating Installation Offshore XXL Wind Turbines. On-board of Sleipnir, TU Delft researchers conducted last week, what so far could be the most extensive measurement campaign of an OWT (Offshore Wind Turbine) installation. The motion tracking sensors, specially developed by David Fidalgo Domingos together with Técnico Solar Boat, have recorded over 15 million samples that provide a unique perspective into the details of OWT installations.

David Fidalgo Domingos, Panagiota Atzampou, and Peter Meijers
Wind energy is on the leading edge of a current environmental revolution. The FOX project’s pioneering offshore installation, gives the chance to gather unique data, important to shape the future of offshore wind farms!

David Fidalgo Domingos, PhD candidate, Delft Center for Systems and Control
Delfts research on Sleipnir
The installation of OWT is an expensive and highly precise operation. As result of more stable wind conditions and the depletion of near-shore locations, wind farms are moving farther offshore, into deeper waters, which brings new challenges but also opportunities. Therefore, a new approach is needed. For this, maritime researchers Peter Wellens and David Fidalgo Domingos are working with Jan-Willem van Wingerden, professor of Wind Turbine & Wind Farm Control, on a full-scale experiment on Sleipnir, world’s biggest crane vessel. This ship is 220 metres long, 102 metres wide and it has a lifting capacity of 20,000 tonnes, enough to lift two Eiffel towers at once!

Measuring is knowing! Validating our models with real data is a dream come true. This will soon make it possible to develop model-based control strategies for the floating installation of large wind turbines.

Jan-Willem van Wingerden, professor, Wind Turbine & Wind Farm Control
With the collected data David Fidalgo Domingos will look into new control methods to reduce wave and wind induced motions of wind turbine components during installation. This data will also be used by Post-doc Peter Meijers and PhD. Candidate Panagiota Atzampou, supervised by professor Andrei Metrikine (CEG), in the development of an innovative type of actuator for the same purpose. Domingos’ measurements validate the researchers’ models and provide insight into the requirements of the control system. The ultimate goal is to develop science to make floating installation of OWT, safer and more efficient than ever before, opening doors to the future of offshore wind farms: Larger turbines, farther offshore, deeper waters.