The main project objective is to reduce the cost of energy (LCOE) of floating wind by 50% through the validation of the "PivotBuoy", an innovative subsystem that reduces the costs of mooring systems and floating platforms, allows faster and cheaper installation and a more reliable and sustainable operation.
The PivotBuoy system combines the advantages of Single Point Mooring systems (SPM - pre-installation of the mooring and connection system using small vessels) with those of tension-leg systems (TLPs - weight reduction, reduced mooring length and enhanced stability), enabling a radical weight reduction of 50% to 90% in floating wind systems compared to current spar and semi-submersible systems but also enabling a critical simplification in the installation of traditional TLP systems. The PivotBuoy concept, initially conceived by its founder while at MIT, is currently at TRL3 after the proof of concept in a wave tank at 1:64 scale and it is the result of years of experience. The project proposes validating the concept at PLOCAN test site, integrating a part-scale prototype of the PivotBuoy single point mooring system in a 225kW downwind floating platform developed by X1 WIND. By testing in a relevant environment, the project will also validate critical innovations related to assembly, installation and O&M techniques, reaching TRL5 at the project end.
The impact of the proposed innovations is sector wide: the system can be integrated not only in X1 WIND downwind platform but also in any other floating platforms using single point moorings systems in the wind and in other sectors such as wave energy, tidal and oil&gas industries. The project consortium, combining experienced industrial partners from the oil&gas, naval and offshore wind sectors with cutting-edge R&D centres, will also bring additional innovations in components, materials and installation and O&M techniques, advancing the state-of-the-art of the floating wind sector.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement Nº815159.