Siemens forms partnership to test offshore platforms

UK: Siemens, the University of Newcastle and offshore specialists, Ale, are carrying out research on the motion of offshore platforms during installation.

Scale model of the topside on the barge, part of the wave tank modelling simulation at Newcastle University's School of Marine Engineering (Picture credit: Gareth Lowe)

The work aims to reduce the risk of deploying offshore HVDC transmission projects. To achieve this, analyses will be conducted in a full-scale wave tank using scale models developed for the study.

Three areas will be looked at: the AC and HVDC platform design, HVDC platform installation and sub-sea cable procurement.

Steve Jones, Siemens Power Transmission’s engineering and technology director, said: "The wave tank project is really leading-edge R&D and something that we have been using in Siemens along with other methodologies to test these structures."

The Offshore Platform Reference Design project sits within the Wind Innovation Programme managed by Narec, the National Renewable Energy Centre.

Peter Bowes, Newcastle University’s School of Marine Science and Technology facilities manager, said: "Newcastle University’s expertise and state-of-the-art extensive testing facilities are well placed to support Siemens in addressing the practical challenges presented in the developing the deployment of topside structures in the North Sea and helping to validate and inform computer simulations."

The project is supported by the UK government’s regional growth fund (RGF) initiative.

Alan Waggott, Narec's chief engineer, said: "This is one of six projects being managed by Narec which is involved in the government’s RGF Wind Innovation Programme, focused on supporting investment and economic growth in the UK offshore wind industry."

The £11 million RGF Wind Innovation Programme includes £5 million match funding from the private sector.

The five other technology projects Narec is investing in are engineering and technology companies Romax Technology and TWI, High Voltage Partial Discharge (HVPD), David Brown Gear Systems and the University of Sheffield.