ABS review advances University of Maine’s innovative floating offshore wind concept
ABS, a leading provider of classification and technical services to the offshore and marine industries, has completed the design review of the Front End Engineering and Design (FEED) documentation for the University of Maine (UMaine) developed floating offshore wind turbine (FOWT) concept, the VolturnUS, ABS said in its press release.
“ABS has been the leading classification organization for the offshore industry from the very beginning of offshore operations, and we are pleased that the renewable energy industry is now looking to ABS for FOWT design review,” says ABS Executive Vice President for Global Offshore Ken Richardson. “ABS was the first classification organization to work offshore and continues to be a pioneer in setting standards for safety and excellence.”
The patented VolturnUS, developed by the Advanced Structures and Composites Center at the University of Maine is based on a concrete four-column semi-submersible hull concept. In 2013, the UMaine team successfully tested the feasibility of the concept by developing a 1:8 scale model and deploying it offshore Maine. The current pilot project consists of two full scale semi-submersibles, each with a 6 megawatt turbine that are designed to be on site for 20 years. Both units will be connected to the Maine power grid by subsea cables.
ABS completed a design review of the semisubmersible, verifying compliance with the ABS Guide for Building and Classing Floating Offshore Wind Turbine Installations. The process consisted of an independent review of the hull/tower structure, coupled aeroelastic/hydrodynamic loads, safety, stability, electrical systems, equipment, piping and hydrodynamic and station keeping design. ABS determined that FEED design, as presented, met the requirements of the relevant ABS Rules and regulatory standards.
Plans are in place for the semi-submersibles to be used for the New England Aqua Ventus I project, a 12 megawatt facility offshore Maine funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. According to UMaine, this is a pilot project to demonstrate that the innovative design of the VolturnUS is a viable and economical alternative for offshore wind developments in water depths greater than 50m.
Founded in 1862, ABS is a leading international classification organization devoted to promoting the security of life and property and preserving the natural environment through the development and verification of standards for the design, construction and operational maintenance of marine and offshore assets.