The European MooringSense project, which aims to reduce the costs associated with floating offshore wind energy production by 10-15%, has taken a step forward in defining a more efficient management strategy for mooring systems. Thirteen months of work after, the consortium of this research led by the CTC Technology Centre concluded the definition of the concept and functional architecture of the digital twin that will optimise the operation and maintenance of the floating wind turbine anchoring and mooring systems and the specifications and validation procedures of the components that make up the solution proposed by MooringSense.
The progress achieved to date was presented and the most relevant technical aspects were discussed in the second follow-up meeting of this initiative, held recently through video conference sessions. Representatives of the entire consortium made up of leading research centres such as TNO, Ikerlan and Sintef Ocean; and leading companies at a global level such as Zunibal, Saitec, Bridon Bekaert Wire Rope Industry, Vicinay Marine Innovation and Intecsea, shared the progress made in this project, which aims to contribute optimising the performance of floating wind energy and increasing annual energy production between 2 and 3%.
The research project is progressing on schedule. The definition of the architecture of the digital twin is an extremely significant aspect for the project development. The approach taken includes the implementation of six simulation tools to provide the digital replica with a data analysis layer. These tools will allow a continuous update of the digital replica, reproducing the degradation phenomena that occur in these components and the possibility of making critical predictions for the more efficient management of the integrity of the mooring systems.
After passing this milestone, the consortium is concentrating its technical work on aspects such as the design and prototyping of a low-cost intelligent sensor using GNSS technology to monitor the movement of floating platforms, the development of the monitoring system to control their structural health and the definition of risk-based integrity management strategies. Likewise, the digital twin composed of a high-fidelity coupled numerical model and various simulation tools, and control algorithms, is still evolving.
During this initial phase of the project's development, the first meeting of the project's Advisory Board also took place. This body, made up of various companies, has the primary mission of advising the consortium to ensure the future exploitation of the project results. This is no trivial circumstance in a research project that envisages patenting a large part of the exploitable results of the project. Entities such as Dragados Offshore, Siemens Gamesa, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), DNV GL or Film Ocean contribute to aligning research so that the results achieved respond to market conditions and needs.
MooringSence has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement No. 85170 After this second follow-up meeting, the project is moving decisively towards these developments set out in the initial research approach.
Thus, during the coming months, work will be geared towards one of the main challenges that the project must overcome: efficiently managing the vast volume of data offered by digital twinned solutions is one such challenge faced by this technology. In this sense, the aim is to integrate the intelligent sensor through the paradigm known as "Fog Computing". A decentralised configuration will be considered in which data, communications, processing and storage are distributed between the sensor and the cloud for greater efficiency in using resources.
A tool for calculating the remaining life of mooring lines and numerical models of their degradation phenomena will be designed and the satellite navigation algorithms required for monitoring the movement of the floating platform will be defined.
IKERLAN, a member of BRTA, is a leading centre in technology transfer and in the contribution of competitive value to the company due, among other things, to the specialisation of its researchers. It offers comprehensive solutions that combine different technological fields into three large areas: Electronics, Information and Communication Technologies (EICT), Energy and Power Electronics and Advanced Manufacturing. In 2017, IKERLAN obtained certification, via AENOR, for the integrated management system (UNE-EN ISO 9001:2015 and UNE 166002:2014), which recognises the excellence of the centre in the field of R&D&I. It currently has a workforce of around 350 people.