Monobase gravity foundation in testing

NETHERLANDS: Engineering consortium Monobase Wind is testing its prototype gravity-base foundation at the Martime Research Institute Netherlands (Marin) until 28 November.

The 1:60 scale model in testing at Marin
The 1:60 scale model in testing at Marin

The 1:60 scale prototype started at Marin this week by testing its transportation capabilities. It will now move to testing installation conditions.

Monobase's design allows a fully intergrated turbine and foundation structure to be towed to the project site. The largely-hollow base structure is used as a buoyancy aid for transportation and then lowered down the tower using ballast to secure the foundation in place on the seabed.

Jan Groot, director of projects at Monobase, claimed the foundation had attracted a lot of attention from the industry. He said representatives from EDF and Siemens will be visiting Marin to see the foundation in testing.

Groot said the concept was behaving as expected. "We put quite a bit of strain on it, quite big waves – six to 12-metre waves - and it was no problem.

"We've done a lot of computer simulations so we need a few more weeks to analyse the data but in the broad spectrum its exactly what we expected," added Groot.

Monobase Wind is a cooperation between engineering firm Orca Offshore, decommissioning specialists PBConsultants and investment firm Venture Counsels.

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