MAREWIND 18th month progress

Progress achieved after 18th months

It has been a busy and productive first phase of the project MAREWIND project. Since its launch in December 2020, the MAREWIND team has been working hard on progressing to achieve the ambitious goals of the project. The project addresses the main aspects related to materials durability and maintenance in offshore structures which have the potential to reduce imply failure, misfunctioning, loss of efficiency in energy generation and which have a major repercussion on O&M and CAPEX. MAREWIND aims to develop durable materials and recyclable solutions for the offshore wind industry, while extending the service life of the wind facilities. In addition, the project outcomes will also contribute to meeting the EU climate targets and create new job opportunities within the wind industry.  

MAREWIND project has achieved its second milestone!

Second milestone of the project has been successfully achieved! During the first year and a half, most of the technical work done by the partners has focused on the fabrication and testing elements individually. Specific formulations have been selected after testing and checking accelerated essays which comply with technical requirements. A great progress has been done thanks to the close collaboration between the partners of MAREWIND consortium. We are looking forward to sharing the outcomes we will achieve in the upcoming years!

Next steps

The consortium is preparing its third newsletter, so stay tuned for more details about the progress achieved so far. You can subscribe for the latest MAREWIND news and events, here.

MAREWIND is developing innovative structural health monitoring (SHM) systems for blades and foundation structures of offshore wind farms.

Full-field measuring techniques of wind blade working conditions: hardware, measurements and algorithms

In Task 3.1, INEGI is developing a non-destructive testing system which will be a mock-up of the final blade SHM system to be implemented in the following work packages. This system will consist of the use of a drone-supported configuration to perform digital image correlation (DIC) and thermographic analyses to monitor the appearance of surface and subsurface defects on wind turbine blades. At this stage, INEGI has already worked on the preliminary studies to define and design the laboratory testing setups to be carried out and on the selection of all the necessary equipment (Figure 1). Subsequently, INEGI also started to work on the synchronized trigger and control solution related to the DIC analyses.

Finally, with regard to image acquisition and processing tasks, INEGI has already performed some test setups for DIC and infrared (IR) analysis. For the future, INEGI will focus on the implementation of all proposed configurations for the validation of the proposed technology and will also work on the development of the data analysis software necessary for the implementation of the real-case scenario.

Figure1: DIC testing setup.
 

Implementation and assessment of FBGs/DFOs technologies for composite

Likewise, in Task 3.2, INEGI is responsible for the development and implementation of embedded fibre optical (FO) sensors for representative laboratory composite components. As of this date, INEGI has already worked on defining the location of the sensors for all the variables to be assessed, defining the equipment used for each parameter evaluated and started its procurement process.

In addition to this, INEGI has already run three test setups with representative parts instrumented with both conventional strain gauges and Fibre Bragg grating (FBG) sensors (2), which allowed to validate the proposed sensor placement, access the sensor bonding process and start developing the data acquisition and processing software. For the future, INEGI plans to complete the execution of all the proposed configurations and to work on the development of the data acquisition and processing software.

Figure 2: Testing setup with wind turbine blade representative part and FBG sensors.

In the same Task 3.2, CETMA is responsible for the development and implementation of the innovative SHM system, based on FO, that will be used for monitoring the foundation structures of offshore wind farms. Prototypes of the foundation structures to be built with the new mixtures were defined, based on a new design, in collaboration with the other partners involved; the SHM monitoring system was defined in terms of number and positions of points to be monitored, frequency of acquisition, parameters to be monitored and costs of equipment and sensors. All these parameters brought to the definition of SHM system based on distributed FO sensors to be apply on composite rebars in the concrete structures. In the next months, CETMA will carry out lab trials on the SHM system to demonstrate the suitability of the designed solution to the application.

Water simulations around gravity-based structures

In Task 3.3, INEGI will develop models to recreate the operational conditions of a Ground Based Structure (GBS). These models will consider three scenarios: transport to the installation site, installation and operation. With the information provided by these models and using machine learning algorithms it will be possible to obtain information about the GBS in real environment aiming the decision of the need of maintenance.

At this stage, the Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) numerical simulations that model the water flow around the GBS are running, with some results already obtained. This data follows to Fluid-Structure Interaction (FSI) models to quantify the efforts on the GBS (Figure 3). The machine learning models were already developed and are ready to be trained with the data produced by CFD and FSI models.

Figure 3: Simulations of GBS transport and installation.

Structural analyses on composite blades

In the period M4-M12, RINA has continued the development of a mathematical model of the composite blade materials by developing the high-resolution finite element model for composite blades (Figure 4). In addition, RINA has developed a MS Excel tool able to perform a preliminary micro- and macro-mechanical analysis on flat composite structures made of unidirectional fabrics. Both the tool and finite element model have been preliminarily validated with a reference composite structure (experimental data available and provided by the partner EIRE Composites).

 
Figure 4: Geometry (left) and mesh (right) of the Representative Volume Element (RVE) selected for the finite element model.

The next steps will consist in performing a more accurate calibration and validation of the high-resolution finite element model of composite and tool, also testing the in-use materials selected for the development of the prototype. The results will be the basis for conducting the activities referred to the simulation of the blade prototype (or part of it) to predict the fatigue life of the wind turbines.

Modelling of corrosion in atmosphere-exposed metallic structures

From month 6 to month 12, IDENER continued the formulation of a corrosion mathematical model that considers the protection of the metallic surface with an anticorrosion coating layer. The model simulates the dynamics of the interface between the coating and electrolyte. The first version of the model has been implemented in a computational environment, in one and two dimensions, and tested with variable input to detect anomalies in the generated results or convergence issues. In the following steps, the new corrosion experimental results generated by the partners Lurederra, TECNAN and INL will be analyzed and used for the calibration of the model.

Figure 5: Comparison of the interface coating/electrolyte position between the initial time (left) and after 1 year of corrosion (right). The red color represents the anticorrosion layer and the blue color represents the electrolyte. Note that the thickness of the electrolyte layer does not grow with time.

During WP2 different activities have been handle aiming at the fabrication and testing elements individually.

In Task 2.1 and Task 2.2, Lurederra, strongly supported for the coating manufacturer TECNAN, focused on the formulation, application and optimization at lab-scale coating for anticorrosion on metallic materials and antifouling coatings for metallic and plastic materials. In addition, TWI leader of Task 2.3 led the anti-erosion superhydrophobic paints for leading edge protection.

Anticorrosion coatings for metallic elements

The coating would consist in three layers with different chemical composition and therefore different complementary corrosion protections.. The development of the formulations for the different layers shows a very good trend, implying suitable performances for each case, regarding adherence, corrosion resistance, hardness, etc., highlighting the promising results with low temperature matrices, and the process with the self-healing fibers with the main focus on their integration (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Anti-corrosion protection of more than 2000h inside saline mist chamber is shown in several coated samples with the matrix of low curing temperature.

The development of the self-healing nanofibers is also showing promising results according to its specific characterization for its functionality. Moreover, the recent progress for the dispersion of those active fibers is enabling first application tests by spraying, so the multi-layer approach envisaged in the project is getting closer.

Concerning the coating application system, two strategies were mainly designed for this purpose: application via spray gun and application via dip coating. Spraying is the main alternative, since it provides a good surface finish, being applicable for different morphologies and sizes.

Antifouling coatings development, production, application and testing

A fouling-preventing coating for different materials of offshore structures that are submerged are being developed at laboratory scale.

Various highly repellent (hydrophobic and oleophobic) coatings are in development showing also a good adherence and low number of defects. Despite some adjustments are in progress, in a preliminary way, the formulations seem suitable for preventing biofouling formation.

The initial tests to multiple substrates with different chemical nature have been successful. This fact is supported by a considerable number of physicochemical characterizations on different substrates (metal and polymeric). Apart from the experimental work in formulation and characterization, the work related to the collection of reference information has been helpful, highlighting specially the selection of benchmark products from the market.

The application of the anti-fouling coatings is via spray gun (Figure 2), as the most suitable method for this objective, due to its versatility for the different target applications.

Figure 2: Table of spray gun parameters currently defined for the anti-fouling coating system and application test.

Anti-erosion superhydrophobic PU coating for blades: development, production, application and testing

The selection of the wind turbine blade coating matrices were based on the commercially available systems. A survey of the commercial leading edge protection coatings has been carried out and the candidate coating systems were shortlisted. In order to achieve the desired repellence (superhydrophobicity) and erosion resistance, TWI have incorporated functional additives into the selected coating matrices.

The selected additives were based on materials available within the project and which have previously been demonstrated to be platforms for superhydrophobic surfaces. These additives are inorganic metal oxides that are capable of surface functionalization to enable their native hydrophilic surfaces to be transformed into exhibiting hydrophobic behavior. The key additives that are explored are:

  • Stöber derived TWI silica
  • Metal oxides (TECNAN’s silica manufactured using pyrogenic methods and commercially available pyrogenic silica Aerosil 200)

The functionalization of particles – TWI, TECNAN and commercial pyrogenic silica – has demonstrated to significantly change the surface chemistry and thus, uplift the repellence. Also, viscosity versus loading studies (Figure 3 and 4) illustrate the impact of shear rate on viscosity and the difference in behavior between pyrogenic and TWI Stöber silica, suggesting that only TWI silica can be loaded high without a significant change of epoxy or PU physical behavior. The addition, all functionalized silicas added into polysilazane model system improved the repellence characteristics of the whole coating system and thus, it is believed that this will lead to enhanced rain erosion resistance. Besides that, the addition of silica doesn’t affect the coating surface roughness, which means that aerodynamic performance of blades won’t be impacted.

Figure 3: Viscosity of SMS35 HMDZ in butyl acetate as function to shear rate (Image courtesy of TWI Ltd).
Figure 4: Viscosity of HMDZ functionalized silicas evaluated at the constant shear rate (Image courtesy of TWI Ltd).

Synthesis of new concrete materials, testing of increased durability and corrosion resistance

In month 4 within Task 2.4,  ACCIONA along CETMA, INEGI and EDF started developing and testing at laboratory level innovative concrete mixtures with the aim of increasing durability and corrosion resistance. The main effort was focused on the design of:

  • High and ultrahigh concrete material: During this months, the main effort regarding High and Ultrahigh concrete design, were focused on the selection of materials which best fits the offshore application requirements. From the data obtained to date, it could be state that the best materials are a combination of CEM I 52.5 mixed with active additions from waste, a latest generation superplasticizer additive and silica aggregates. This lead to mortars and concretes with higher mechanical properties and workability helping on samples manufacturing process. HPRFRC dosage has been optimized and meets design requirements. It has low potential for cracking according to the ASTM C1581/C1581M Standard. HPFRC optimized dosage has very high resistance against water and chloride penetration (Figure 5).

 
Figure 5: Durability test performed on HPFRC. Left) Penetration of water under pressure equipment. Right) Ring test essay.
  • Alkali Activated concretes that fulfil offshore infrastructure requirements. CETMA, which is responsible for the development of cementless concrete, divided the activity into three main phases:

  1. Binder design (Figure 6)
  2. Mortar design and development
  3. Concrete development and AAM (alkali activated materials) testing

AAM high-density concrete is under development. Although some adjustments are in progress, the binder and mortar formulations have provided good results for the purposes of the project.

Figure 6: Phases of making and testing the binder’s
  • Chlorides ingress characterization for aging concrete in marine environment: EDF is responsible for providing data from ageing concrete samples fabricated directly at the Blyth Wind Farm construction site. 4 months and 1-year aged specimens under permanent immersion have been considered to evaluate the chloride ions ingress. Each specimen of Ф16 cm x10 cm dimensions, is sealed with epoxy resin to allow the penetration of chlorides from a single face, as shown in the figure below. Each sub-specimen has been subjected to the chemical analysis according to the EN14629 standard. Powders corresponding to 10 different depths were manufactured and used to determine the chlorides content. With 9 and 10 tested specimens after respectively 4-months and 1-year of seawater exposure, a comprehensive database of chloride content distribution is available. Some basic processing including the determination of the chloride apparent diffusivity and the prediction of chlorides content evolution over time were performed, in this context. This database will allow the evaluation of new materials (Figure 7).
Figure 7: Chlorides ingress characterization for aged concrete specimens.

Reinforced composites production and testing

In Task 2.5, the following three strategies were planned for new composite laminate production, which involves close collaboration between task leader ÉireComposites (EIRE), TWI and CETMA.

  • Use of nano-SiO2
  • Use of RCF (Recycled Carbon Fibers)
  • Use of /TPR (Thermoplastic Reactive Resin)/Recyclable Epoxy resins

EIRE supplied powder and liquid epoxy resins to TWI and CETMA, for new resin formula and composite reinforcement development. In addition, EIRE defined a preliminary and final material text matrix that will be used to characterize the mechanical and physical properties of the composite laminates produced.

On the other hand, CETMA has defined a preliminary numerical model for the simulation of the resin infusion process, and it has also set up the RCF/Epoxy infusion process with mechanical characterizations in order to adjust the final properties of the new composite formulations.

TWI have characterized and functionalized both, pyrogenic silica and Stöber silica, including wetting behavior and loading effects upon the incorporation to DBEBA epoxy model system. The functionalization has a significant impact on the surface chemistry of those silicas, making them superhydrophobic. Addition of functionalized silicas into DGBE remains a significant challenge, as it raises the viscosity (Figure 8). Nevertheless, this will be mitigated by the development of appropriate silicas incorporation/mixing techniques.

Figure 8: Rheology study of DGEBA resin, 6% SiO2 in DGEBA resin (Image courtesy of TWI Ltd).
 

Preliminary testing of the recycling process and prediction of properties

In Task 2.6 CETMA has carried out rheological and thermal analysis of selected formulations of thermoplastic reactive resins and recyclable thermoset resins. In scale-up activities of the recycling process the most promising recyclable resin and related recycling method will be selected in terms of both initial component performance and industrial effectiveness of the recycling procedure.

Additionally, CETMA also generated a multi-scale numerical model of the recycled material based on RCF. A Representative Volume Elements (RVE) of the recycled material has been generated (Figure 9) and the numerical analyses to calculate the mechanical properties of the composite laminate have been carried out (Figure 10). The good agreement between the numerical and the experimental test results demonstrated the high reliability of the numerical model.

Figure 9: Material properties and microstructure
Figure 10: Numerical model and results

During the first four months of the project, exhaustive search, analysis and compilation of relevant information has been performed in order to define key aspects. Concretely, the technical requirements of the new materials to be developed, the requirements related to monitoring and modelling, a mapping of relevant standards, the specifications of the demo sites and the plan for technology risk mitigation.


Definition of requirements for new materials

In task 1.1., TECNAN along with other partners specialized in anticorrosion and antifouling coatings as well as in coatings and composites for the blades, completed the very first part of the work. The aim was to provide an overview of the characteristics of new materials and monitoring procedures.

In the very first phase of WP1, exhaustive researches were carried out to provide guidelines and the technical requirements of the new materials to be developed. This first step will ensure that the project technologies can be implemented successfully. As relevant information compiled for each technology, the main technical challenges of the project where highlighted:

  • Anticorrosion coatings
  • Antifouling coatings
  • Coatings for the blades
  • Composite for the blades
  • Concrete enhancements

Definition of requirements related with monitoring and predictive

From M1 to M4, Task 1.2 focused on the definition of the requirements for the Structural Health Monitoring systems and the modelling activities to be developed within WP3. The results of the task resulted in a summary of the identified requirements. The MAREWIND project will develop two types of monitoring system:

  • Full-filed non-destructive testing (NDT), such as infrared thermography and 3D digital image correlation (DIC), supported by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). INEGI started the definition of requirement of the NDT system by reviewing those standards related to NDT procedures and thermography methodology. They also reviewed the European and local regulations and requirements for the operation of unmanned aircraft at the demonstration sites.

   
  • Remote optical sensors, such as fibre Bragg grating (FBG) and distributed fibre optic (DFO) sensors, integrated into blades and concreted-based structural components to provide real-time feedback on deformation and structural integrity state of components. The monitoring system based on remote optical sensors will be developed by CETMA and INEGI, with CETMA focusing on sensorization of concrete-based structural components and INEGI focusing on blade representative components.

   

Standards mapping

In Task 1.3 all the partners compiled the relevant standards and regulations related to the project developments. The early identification of standards will also allow a future identification of possible standardization gaps. Relevant partners from the project contributed to the review, checking the standards already implemented their entities, and also the new potential ones that could be of interest in relation to the technologies of the project.

Two main compilations were made:

  • DNV guidelines compliance, crucial to ensure posterior market implementation and the standards map.
 
  • Innovation technologies where no standards and regulations could be found were identified.
 

Specifications for demonstrations sites

In the next phase in Task 1.4, after some discussions, a final overview of the potential demonstration sites – onshore and offshore – was given. For the offshore testing locations, various potential places are contemplated including the north of Portugal, the north of Spain and Canary Islands. The onshore wind farms are the second group of locations, a pre‐selection of onshore locations related to the real condition tests of the project was presented. These locations are divided in two groups the North of Spain wind farms and the South of Spain wind farms. The early contemplations are based on the climate of these areas since it could be very valuable for real environment tests.

W2Power floating wind platforms: example of the offshore structures pre-selected by project partners for the validation of the developments.
   

As of April 2021, the MAREWIND consortium has started working on WP3 predictive modelling for preventive maintenance of wind energy. This part of the work plan focuses on the development of technologies for monitoring the structural health status of wind offshore facilities. It also develops mathematical models aimed to representing different key aspects related to the durability and maintenance of offshore structures and materials. During the first months, the involved partners led by IDENER have set the bases for the future work.


Monitoring technologies

INEGI will develop a blade monitoring technology that uses cameras mounted onto drones to acquire images (visible and infrared) of the rotating blades. The images will be then digitally analysed for the detection of sub-surface voids, delamination and displacements. INEGI has already designed a lab-scale setup and selected equipment to be used. It also features cameras, synchronization controllers, drone and a representative rotating blade. INEGI will use this lab setup during the upcoming months to test and analyse different configurations of the cameras. That also includes “floating” cameras that will simulate the operation of a camera mounted in a drone.

MAREWIND consortium will be also developing monitoring technologies based on fibre optic sensors. The sensors will be embedded into representative concrete and blade components to build a remote real-time sensing system, able to early detect diseases or damages.

Firstly, CETMA will focus on the installation of sensors into concrete-based components, while INEGI will focus on blade composite elements. CETMA already started the preliminary design of the sensor system, paying special attention to the characteristics and size of the prototypes that will be sensorized in the project.

Likewise, INEGI started the design of the sensor system by defining the sensor placement and equipment for each parameter of assessment. During the following months, CETMA and INEGI will perform the first lab-scale trials of the designed systems.


Water simulations around gravity-based structures

Furthermore, INEGI has started working on the simulations of the water column around the gravity-based structure (GBS) by using computational fluid dynamics. The simulations involved numerical modelling of the flow at the bottom of the sea influenced by waves and currents.

The modelling procedure for such a complex and vast fluid domain was divided in two parts to reduce considerably the computational cost of a complete Computational fluid dynamics 3D model with complex geometries.

  1. The first model was developed in 2D. The main goal was to obtain velocity profiles each time step that captured the effects of surface waves at the bottom of the domain. The effects of currents would be considered directly in the second part of the model.
  2. The 2D model would produce velocity profiles in each time step for the 15-sea state and 3 depths in a total of 15 representative cases. They could be applied to an inlet boundary condition of a 3D model that would include the GBS. This approach reduced the computational cost as the 3D domain could have a limited dimension and could be considered totally submerged, without the need for the high-demanding VOF (Volume of Fluid) multiphase model. In the Figure 1 it is shown the 3D in its final configurations with the main boundary conditions.
Figure 1. Domain and boundary conditions for the second part of the model.

The experts obtained results from the hydrodynamics analysis that was performed using CFD. The collected outputs were pressure maps for each selected case in the transient form. In order to illustrate the results, a static pressure contour for sea state 50 m of depth and current of 1 m/s is displayed is displayed in Figure 2.

Figure 2. Example of results of the computational fluid dynamics model.

Structural Analyses on Composite Blades

RINA will develop a finite element computational model of the reinforced fibre composite developed in the MAREWIND project. The overall model will interconnect three successive sub-models at different scales of the composite and will allow the simulation of the mechanical behaviour of the composite blades.

In the first step of the task, RINA has started the setup of a mathematical model. The model should be of a suitable representative volume element (RVE) of an elementary composite specimen, considering the constituent materials (matrix and fibres) and their combination (Figure 3).

Figure 3. Selection of matrix and fibre materials of the representative volume element

In the upcoming months, RINA will implement this numerical model with the project data. Thus,  allowing the calculation of the properties of an equivalent homogeneous material using the known properties of its base materials.


Modelling of corrosion in atmosphere-exposed metallic structures

During the first months, IDENER started the construction of a corrosion mathematical model by defining a first simple scenario with a single anticorrosion coating layer (sacrificial layer). The approach selected for the model will focus on the description of the dynamics of the interface between the coating and electrolyte, which will be under the effects of corrosion. Once the computational implementation of this first approximation is finished, the complexity of the model will be gradually increased by including the other layers of the anticorrosion protection, such as the self-healing layer.

The second part of the MAREWIND work plan WP2 Fabrication and testing elements individually has started in March 2021 and is led by Lurederra. Within the scope of work is to formulate and optimize at a lab-scale different material. The consortium will improve corrosion protection, fouling prevention, blade’s coating protection, blade’s composites optimisation, recycling and concrete enhancement. The partners involved in this WP will also oversee the synthesis and selection of new concrete materials and testing/aging at lab scale. The task is still on going and will be active until M18, May 2022.

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During the first 3 months of the beginning of the project TECNAN along with the other partners completed the very first part of the work plan. WP1 Defining the requirements provides an overview of the characteristics of new materials and monitoring procedures. A risk mitigation plan was also created for the project lifespan. In addition, the consortium also prepared a roadmap for the implementation of all demonstration sites, as well as identified  the conditions and required equipment for each of them.  

In MAREWIND project the consortium will develop project technologies for anti-corrosion coatings for metallic parts and fastening elements, as well as anti-fouling coatings, new composites for blades, anti-erosion coatings for the blades and new high-performance concrete materials. These technologies will be implemented and tested on different demonstration sites based on the defined requirements for material and testing procedures.


Defining the technical requirements 

In  the very first step of WP1, TECNAN defined the technical characteristics of each new material. The materials’ properties are required in order to make experimental protocols and detailed analysis. They are also needed for quantification of the increased materials lifetime performance which is related to the target costs defined by the end-users. Therefore, TECNAN collected current market references about the characteristics durability, costs and main properties on variety of groups materials. That includes corrosion protection, fouling prevention, blades protection, blade’s composites optimisation and concrete enhancement. 

In the second phase, TECNAN identified and defined the requirements for monitoring system. The monitoring system detects if any defects would occur in the rotating blades and possibly other composite parts of the wind turbine. In addition, it also measures the dislocations caused by the rotating blades. 


Monitoring systems 

TECNAN well-defined the most important structural and environmental parameters to operate with the monitoring systems. During the project lifespan, the consortium will develop two types of monitoring systems:  

  1. Non-destructive testing supported by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and  
  1. Integrated optical sensors included into blades and concrete-based structural components.  

The two systems were identified based on the technical aspects (e.g., power autonomy, accuracy, durability, etc.), hardware (e.g., type of optical sensors (FO, DFO, FBG…), accessories, dimensions, etc.) and site-specific regulative requirements (e.g., for UAVs).  

Furthermore, the consortium defined the main inputs and outputs for the mathematical models and simulations. In addition, the respective partners will develop structural Health Monitoring (SHM) using many different techniques e.g., non-contact high-speed full-field measurements as digital image correlation (DIC) and thermography. These methods will be used to overcome the accessibility to offshore locations. In addition, the requirements of the models development according to Gravity-based structure (GBS), blade mechanical behavior modelling, and corrosion modelling were also considered. 

Relevant standards and regulations related to the MAREWIND project developments have been also compiled. Making an early identification of the necessary requisites to deliver MAREWIND project activities will assure post market implementation. Additionally, the early identification of standards will also allow the consortium to recognise any potential gaps.


Roadmap of demonstrations sites  

In the next phase of this WP, EDF presented all demonstration sites available to the different partner organisation. This was combined with a description of the MAREWIND technologies to match the different sites.

A final detailed definition of the tests on each site will be made in next phase of the project in WP2 and WP4. Additional tests will be made in the trials that are to be performed in WP5.  

Figure 1. Reference support structure analogue to the ones to be used for project tests in coupons.

Potential risks 

In the final phase of WP1, the consortium had to identify any potential risks that could happen during the project lifetime. Based on that they had establish procedures and actions for risk mitigation. The consortium will implement the respective measures and actions in case of deviations concerning timeframe, technical parameters and/or key performance indicators. 

On the 9th June 2021, the MAREWIND consortium gathered to discuss the project status and progress since its official launch in December 2020.  The MAREWIND consortium partners met online due to the current COVID-19 restrictions across Europe.

Progress

During the 1-day online session, all partners presented the work done for each of the work packages and their main achievements. Members of the consortium discussed the next significant milestones and deliverables that are to come. In addition, the consortium also detailly presented the planned actions in short term. By the end of the meeting, the project coordinator has concluded that the project and work packages are going as foreseen with no delays.


Next steps

The consortium is preparing its first newsletter, so stay tuned for more detailed project progress. You can subscribe for the latest MAREWIND news and events, here.

The next consortium meeting is scheduled in November 2021 when first year of the project would be achieved. For now the meeting will be held online again.

Have you ever wondered why wind energy is so important? Nowadays, it is the most efficient technology to produce clean power for several industries and electricity for the people in a safe and environmentally sustainable way.

These benefits motivate European governments to look for investment and further development in the wind energy sector as key Renewable Energy Source (RES). In this context, how is wind energy produced?


What is wind energy?

Wind energy/power is the energy that comes from a natural or renewable resource. It is actually a by-product of the sun. The wind energy is clean, use less water and does not produce any greenhouse gas emissions or air pollutions. The wind energy is a green alternative to the energy produced by burning fossil fuels.

Wind energy is actually a by-product of the sun. The sun’s uneven heating of the atmosphere, the earth’s irregular surfaces (mountains and valleys), and the planet’s revolution around the sun all combine to create wind. Since wind is in plentiful supply, it’s  sustainable resource for as long as the sun’s rays heat the planet.


What is wind turbine ?

A wind turbine captures the kinetic energy from the wind and converts it into mechanical power or simply electricity. It produces energy in a safe and environmentally sustainable way.

There are 2 types of wind turbines:

  • Horizontal-axis wind turbines are the most commonly used one due to their strength and efficiency. They commonly have 3 blades like airplane propellers. Nearly all of the wind turbines currently in use are horizontal-axis turbines.
  • Vertical-axis turbines are less used today as they do not perform as well as the horizontal-axis turbines. They have blades that are attached to the top and the bottom of a vertical rotor.
Figure 2: How does a wind turbine work? Credits: Boston University, College of Engineering

Figure 1: Types of wind turbines.


How is the wind turbine work?

When wind flows across the blade, the air pressure on one side of the blade decreases. The difference in air pressure across the two sides of the blade creates both lift and drag. As the force of the lift is stronger than the drag, it makes the rotor to spin. Then, the rotor connects to the generator and speed up the rotation. This creates electricity.

Figure 2: How does a wind turbine work?

Credits: ACCIONA, MAREWIND’s partner


What is wind farms?

A wind farm is a group of wind turbines that produce large amounts of electricity. Its aim is to deliver power to the electrical grid. Wind farms can be placed on land (onshore) or fixed at the sea (offshore). Offshore wind farms can even have floating turbines in deep waters.

Figure 3: Types of wind farms. Credits: TUV SUD


Infographic

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Offshore wind turbines are often exposed to a variety of harsh conditions such as abrasion, bio-fouling, corrosion. These conditions seriously damage the components of the wind turbines. Moreover, due to the constant exposure of the marine moisture, splash and ice formations and based on the location of the windmill plan, some of the turbines have more severe damages. Overall, these conditions significantly decrease the lifespan of the wind turbines and limit the cost per MW.

Figure 1. Damaged components of wind turbines.
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