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United Kingdom

United Kingdom

Gallery: Lightweight offshore foundations installed

UK: Dong Energy and Oxford University have begun testing lightweight monopiles as part of a programme aiming to reduce the cost of foundations for the offshore sector.

  • Dong Energy and Oxford University are testing lightweight monopiles

    Dong Energy and Oxford University are testing lightweight monopiles

  • The research is being carried out as part of the Pile Soil Analysis (PISA) project as part of the OWA programme

    The research is being carried out as part of the Pile Soil Analysis (PISA) project as part of the OWA programme

  • The lighter monopiles were manufactured by Bladt Industries and DanSteel

    The lighter monopiles were manufactured by Bladt Industries and DanSteel

  • The project aims at reducing the thickness of steel used on monopiles without compromising load-carrying capacity

    The project aims at reducing the thickness of steel used on monopiles without compromising load-carrying capacity

  • Dong believes a small reduction in size could make a significant contribution to cutting costs

    Dong believes a small reduction in size could make a significant contribution to cutting costs

  • Twenty monopiles will be tested at onshore sites in Cowden, UK and Dunkirk, France

    Twenty monopiles will be tested at onshore sites in Cowden, UK and Dunkirk, France

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Dong and Oxford University are taking the lead on the Pile Soil Analysis (PISA) project being run as part of the Carbon Trust's Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA) programme.

The project is testing monopiles that use thinner steel. Dong believes a slight reduction on the traditional 100 milimetre thickness could cut offshore costs signficantly. 

Bladt Industries and DanSteel were contracted to build the lighter foundations, which have now been installed at an onshore site in Cowden, England. Further testing will take place at a site in Dunkirk, France. 

Backers of the study also includes RWE, Vattenfall, Statoil, Statkraft, SSE and Scottish Power, with additional support from Imperial College, London, and University College Dublin.

Jesper Skov Gretlund, project manager for PISA, said traditional monopiles were designed with conservative levels of steel. 

"It is the technical piece in the puzzle to be able to design less-conservative foundations. We can gain an understanding of what is going on and thereby be able to make slimmer foundations," said Gretlund. 

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