Denmark

Denmark

Hole in the bucket halts installation

Near-shore installation of a 4.5 MW turbine off the German coast of Wilhelmshaven has been suspended after it was found that mechanical defects had appeared on the so-called bucket foundation. The structure was eight metres into the seabed when work was halted in late April.

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Near-shore installation of an Enercon 4.5 MW turbine off the German coast of Wilhelmshaven has been suspended after it was found that mechanical defects had appeared on the so-called bucket foundation. The structure was eight metres into the seabed when work was halted in late April. Enercon is thoroughly inspecting the unit before deciding when and if the installation can continue.

The foundation is a cylindrical steel structure with an open base that is sucked into a soft sand bed with pumps. Friction between the subsoil and bucket wall ensures stability after installation. Suction buckets are common for offshore structures, but the size of this one is unique, since it was made to support a wind turbine considerably larger and heavier than installed offshore previously.

A Danish company with years of offshore construction experience, Marine Business Development (MBD), designed the bucket. The concept has been tested successfully with a Vestas 3 MW machine installed on reclaimed land just inside the harbour wall at Frederikshavn, Denmark. Construction and installation of the foundation is handled by Danish BLADT Industries, specialised in manufacturing large, complex steel structures.

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