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Germany

Germany

Gallery: Iberdrola monopile test at Wikinger

GERMANY: Since October, Iberdrola has been carrying out tests on piles at its planned 350MW Wikinger site in the Baltic Sea.

  •  Piling template being installed at the Wikinger field

    Piling template being installed at the Wikinger field

  • The first pile begins to be lifted

    The first pile begins to be lifted

  • A pile being positioned to be

    A pile being positioned to be "stabbed" into the submerged template

  • The template is removed after pile installation

    The template is removed after pile installation

  • The pilling hammer being prepared

    The pilling hammer being prepared

  • Piling hammer moving into position

    Piling hammer moving into position

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Engineering firm Bilfinger manufactured the steel piles for the test, which is looking at the effectiveness of monopiles in deeper water of up to 43 meters.

Over the course of the test, Bilfinger drove nine piles into the seabed. A special template was manufactured to ensure a specific distance between the piles. 

Iberdrola said it was the first time that static and dynamic tension and pressure tests will be conducted under water over an extended period.

Last week, the German federal maritime agency (BSH) extended a safety exclusion zone around the test site until 30 September 2015. BSH said the extension was needed as the test piles had not been removed.

A spokesperson from Bilfinger said BSH require the piles to be cut 1.5 metres below the seabed, having originially planned to hammer the piles below the seabed. Bilfinger said Iberdrola was having to tender the contract to cut the piles causing the safety zone extension.

Head of sea management at BSH, Dr Nico Nolte, said hammering the piles would have required noise reducing systems, such as bubble curtains, and cutting the piles would produce less noise.

Wikinger is located 45 kilometres from the German coast in the Baltic Sea. It will use 70 Adwen 5MW turbines, with construction set to begin in 2016. 

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