The Anonymous Widower

So Many Floating Wind Designs, So Few Test Sites – Norwegian METCentre Sold Out

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on offshoreWIND.biz.

This is the sub-heading.

There are currently more than 80 floating wind technology concepts and designs worldwide, and testing even a certain number of these could prove to be an endeavour since there are not many test sites dedicated to floating wind technology in Europe.

It strikes me that we need more test centres.

As UK waters will in the next couple of decades be home to a lot more GW of wind farms, perhaps we should develop a test centre.

I wonder, if South Wales would be the place for a test centre.

  • There is a lot of sea, which isn’t cluttered with oil and gas rigs, and wind farms.
  • There are a lot of wind farms planned in the area.
  • There are at least two good technology universities.
  • There are some deep water ports.
  • Electricity connections and power generation are good.
  • There is good train connections to the rest of England and Wales.
  • A train testing centre is being built at Nant Helen. Some tests needed to be done could be the same.

Some innovative designs for wind turbines are also being developed in South Wales.

 

 

February 7, 2023 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

World’s First Offshore Wind Farm Using 16 MW Turbines Enters Construction In China

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the offshoreWIND.biz.

This is the sub-heading.

China Three Gorges Corporation (CTG) has started construction of the second phase of its offshore wind farm Zhangpu Liuao. The project will be both China’s and the world’s first wind farm to comprise 16 MW wind turbines.

I hope the Chinese have done all their calculations, research and testing. The dynamics of large wings are tricky and there are a lot of square law factors involved. I’d always be worried that at a particular wind speed a dangerous vibration will be setup.

How many Chinese engineers have seen videos of Galloping Gertie?

As the video says, no one was injured or killed, when the Tacoma Narrows Bridge fell into the river, but we nearly had a very similar disaster in the UK. I used to work at ICI in Runcorn and at the time, I lived in Liverpool, so every day, I went to work I crossed the Silver Jubilee Bridge twice.

One day, after a party in Cheshire, I even got so drunk, I had to stop the car on the bridge and was sick into the Mersey. It was before C and myself were married and she always claimed she nearly called the marriage off, after the incident.

But have you ever wondered, why that bridge is a through arch bridge rather than a suspension bridge as over the Forth, Hmber and Severn, which were all built around the same time?

Wikipedia has a section, which describes the Planning of the bridge.

The new bridge had to allow the passage of shipping along the Manchester Ship Canal. Many ideas were considered, including a new transporter bridge or a swing bridge. These were considered to be impractical and it was decided that the best solution was a high-level bridge upstream from the railway bridge. This would allow the least obstruction to shipping and would also be at the narrowest crossing point. The first plan for a high-level bridge was a truss bridge with three or five spans, giving an 8 yards (7 m) dual carriageway with a cycle track and footpaths. This was abandoned because it was too expensive, and because one of the piers would be too close to the wall of the ship canal. The next idea was for a suspension bridge with a span of 343 yards (314 m) between the main towers with an 8 yards (7 m) single carriageway and a 2-yard (2 m) footpath. However aerodynamic tests on models of the bridge showed that, while the bridge itself would be stable, the presence of the adjacent railway bridge would cause severe oscillation.

The finally accepted design was for a steel through arch bridge with a 10-yard (9 m) single carriageway. The design of the bridge is similar to that of Sydney Harbour Bridge but differs from it in that the side spans are continuous with the main span rather than being separate from them. This design feature was necessary to avoid the problem of oscillation due to the railway bridge. The main span measures 361 yards (330 m) and each side span is 83 yards (76 m).

But that misses out part of the story that I learned about at ICI.

I developed a very simple piece of electronics for ICI Runcorn’s noise and vibration expert. The equipment allowed the signals from two noise meters to be subtracted. This meant that if they were pointed in different directions, the noise generated by an object or piece of equipment could be determined.

The noise and vibration expert had tremendous respect from his fellow engineers, but his involvement in the design of the Runcorn bridge had elevated him to a legend.

The designers of the suspension bridge, that is detailed in the Wikipedia extract, presented their design to the ICI (Merseyside) Scientific Society.

The noise and vibration expert was at the meeting and questioned the design and said it would collapse due to oscillations caused by the presence of the railway bridge. He advised aerodynamic tests should be done on the bridge.

His back of the fag packet calculations were shown by tests to be correct and the bridge was built as a through arch bridge.

These pictures show the bridge.

They were taken from a train on the railway bridge.

 

February 6, 2023 Posted by | Transport/Travel, Design, Energy | , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Equinor And SSE Eye Green Hydrogen Production For 1.32 GW Dogger Bank D

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on offshoreWIND.biz.

This is the sub-heading.

SSE Renewables and Equinor, the developers of the Dogger Bank Wind Farm in the UK, are exploring two options for Dogger Bank D, the fourth wind farm the partners are looking to build as part of the development. These include using Dogger Bank D for electricity that would feed into the UK grid and/or for green hydrogen production.

This says to me, that depending on need, electricity from the Dogger Bank Wind Farms and D in particular, can be distributed in the grid or converted into green hydrogen.

  • The article says that the electrolyser could become the UK’s largest green hydrogen project
  • There will be plenty of hydrogen storage in the salt caverns at Aldbrough, which can currently store the equivalent of 320 GWh of electricity, It is currently being expanded to be one of the largest hydrogen stores in the world according to this page on the SSE web site.
  • There are currently two gas-fired power stations at Keadby and they will in a few years be joined by a third, that will be fitted with carbon-capture and a hydrogen-fueled power station.

The various wind farms, power stations and gas storage on Humberside are growing into a very large zero-carbon power cluster, with an output approaching six GW.

Any shortfall in wind output, could be made-up by using the Keadby 3 gas-fired power station with carbon capture or the Keadby hydrogen power station.

Conclusion

Humberside is getting a cluster of power stations and wind farms, that can produce almost twice the electricity of Hinckley Point C nuclear power station.

 

February 6, 2023 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Kittiwake Compensation

The title of this post, is the same as that of this page of Ørsted’s Hornsea Three web site.

The first section of the page gives the background.

Hornsea 3 Offshore Wind Farm received planning permission in December 2020. As part of our Development Consent Order, a requirement was included for ecological compensation measures for a vulnerable seabird species whose populations could be affected by wind farms – the Black-legged kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla).

Our compensation plan focusses on providing artificial nesting structures for kittiwake along the east coast of England. This project is the first of its kind and we are working on new and innovative designs for the artificial nesting structures. Each structure will be purpose-built, bespoke and specific to the landscape characteristics of each location. The structures also present an educational opportunity, allowing researchers to better understand kittiwake.

Developing effective environmental compensation measures is essential to ensure the UK Government’s targets for offshore wind can be realised, to deliver a net zero-carbon future.

So kittiwakes are not being paid compensation, as I don’t suspect many have bank accounts.

But they are being built a few new nesting structures.

Wikipedia has an entry on kittiwakes.

It notes that all European kittiwakes are of the black-legged variety and this is a picture, I took of some on the Baltic in Newcastle.

I’ve seen several pictures of kittiwakes lined up like these.

The document goes on to describe the work being done for the kittiwakes and this is said about work in East Suffolk.

Lowestoft and Sizewell are the only locations between Kent and Humberside with thriving kittiwake colonies. Kittiwake normally nest on steep cliffs with narrow ledges. East Anglia doesn’t have these natural nesting spaces, so kittiwake have reverted to colonising urban areas, for example on windowsills and ledges of buildings. Kittiwake breeding for the first time are most likely to find artificial structures that are situated close to these urban areas. They are less likely to find structures in places where there are not already kittiwake. Lowestoft and Sizewell are therefore two of the few places in East Anglia where artificial structures could be colonised quickly. These purpose-built nesting sites would improve breeding conditions for kittiwake, whilst successfully achieving our compensation requirements to unlock the world’s biggest offshore wind farm.

I took this picture of kittiwakes at Sizewell.

It doesn’t seem too unlike the structure on the Hornsea 3 web site.

February 4, 2023 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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February 3, 2023 Posted by | Design, Energy | , , , , , | Enter your password to view comments.

MPS Floating Platform To Feature FibreMax Tendons

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on offshoreWIND.biz.

This is the sub-heading.

Welsh company Marine Power Systems (MPS) has joined forces with FibreMax to provide integrated floating foundation and tendon solutions to the growing floating offshore wind sector.

And these three paragraphs outline the design.

The tendon solution will be used in the anchoring and moorings of MPS’ tension leg platform (TLP), called PelaFlex, to deliver the highest system stability and zero tilt, the partners said.

It will be the “world’s first” TLP with FibreMax tendons, made with Twaron fiber from Japan-headquartered Teijin.

Compared to traditional steel moorings synthetic cable offers a much better strength-to-weight ratio, longer operational life, and lower levels of maintenance, according to the partners.

Note.

  1. PelaFlex tension leg platforms are used in the project I wrote about in Simply Blue Group And Marine Power Systems To Pursue INTOG Innovation Project Opportunity.
  2. Wikipedia is a good source of information on tension leg platforms, where there is a large section on how they could be used for wind turbines.
  3. Twaron has an informative product page.
  4. There is more about PelaFlex on the PelaFlex web page including a video.
  5. The press release for the joint Simply Blue/MPS project talks of six turbines totalling up to 100 MW, which is probably around 17 MW per wind turbine.

It looks to me, that the PelaFlex design is getting better by the simple process of adding lightness and therefore being able to have a higher energy density in a deep area of the sea.

The amount of innovation involved probably makes PelaFlex an ideal component for the upcoming INTOG leasing round.

February 1, 2023 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Germany Pinpoints 36.5 GW Of Offshore Wind Areas, Publishes Development Plan

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on offshoreWIND.biz.

This is the sub-heading.

Germany’s Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (BSH) has published a new area development plan for the expansion of offshore wind energy. The plan maps out the build-out of offshore wind by 2030, by when the country is to reach 30 GW of capacity connected to its grid, and sets the stage for further deployment of wind turbines at sea, with the 2035 target of 40 GW estimated to be exceeded.

30 GW of offshore wind by 2030 and 40 GW by 2035 are ambitious targets, but how do we compare?

This news story on the UK Government web site is entitled UK Signs Agreement On Offshore Renewable Energy Cooperation, contains this statement.

The initiative is expected to support the UK’s ambitious targets to increase offshore wind fivefold to 50GW, and deliver 18GW of electricity interconnector capacity – up from 8.4 GW today – by 2030.

I don’t think we compare badly.

January 26, 2023 Posted by | Energy | , , , | 1 Comment

SSE Renewables Lays Out Plans To Bolster Ties With Fishing Industry

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on offshorewind.biz.

This is the sub-heading.

SSE Renewables has published a report that sets out the company’s vision to better co-exist with fisheries when building and developing offshore wind energy.

Sounds like a good idea on the line of Jaw, jaw is better than war, war!

The original press release is here.

January 25, 2023 Posted by | Energy, Food | , , | Leave a comment

UK Round 4 Offshore Wind Winners To Start Paying Option Fees With Lease Agreements Now Signed

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on offshoreWIND.biz.

This is the sub-heading.

The Crown Estate has signed Agreements for Lease for all six offshore wind projects selected in the UK’s Round 4 offshore wind seabed leasing. This enables the developers to now further progress their plans and also kicks off the period in which they will be paying annual option fees of almost GBP 900 million to The Crown Estate and HM Treasury.

The article then lists the wind farms.

  • RWE’s Dogger Bank South East & West (3 GW).
  • EnBW and BP’s Morgan and Mona (3 GW).
  • TotalEnergies and Corio Generation’s Outer Dowsing (1.5 GW).
  • Cobra and Flotation Energy’s Morecambe (480 MW).

This is just under 8 GW.

The article then goes on to show what developers will pay to the Crown Estate.

These two paragraphs explain the fees paid.

By signing the Agreements for Lease, which can be in effect for a maximum of ten years, the developers have committed to at least three years of option payments and will pay an annual option fee for each project until they are ready to enter into a lease for the seabed site.

The option payments, totalling some GBP 979 million per year, reduce as a project moves into a lease, or leases, and cease when a lease(s) for the maximum capacity/whole site is granted, at which point developers will move to paying rent.

It looks to me that developers will pay nearly a billion pounds per year for at least a minimum of three years and not more than ten years.

Once a project moves into a lease, rent will be paid.

It seems to be a very profitable occupation to own loads of empty sea!

January 19, 2023 Posted by | Energy | , , , | 1 Comment

Lützerath: German Coal Mine Stand Off Amid Ukraine War Energy Crunch

The title of this post, is the same as that on this article on the BBC.

This is the sub-heading.

From her tiny wooden treehouse, which sways precariously in the winter wind, a young woman watches an enormous mechanical digger tear into the earth below, its jaws edging ever closer to the village which she’s determined to save.

And these two paragraphs outline the protest.

Lützerath, in western Germany, is on the verge – literally – of being swallowed up by the massive coal mine on its doorstep.

Around 200 climate change activists, who are now all that stand in the way of the diggers expanding the Garzweiler opencast mine, have been warned that if they don’t leave by Tuesday they’ll be forcibly evicted.

But this is not about coal or bituminous coal, as we know it in the UK, this mine will produce lignite or brown coal.

Read both Wikipedia entries linked to the previous sentence and you find some choice phrases.

For bituminous coal.

  • Within the coal mining industry, this type of coal is known for releasing the largest amounts of firedamp, a dangerous mixture of gases that can cause underground explosions.
  • Extraction of bituminous coal demands the highest safety procedures involving attentive gas monitoring, good ventilation and vigilant site management.
  • The leading producer is China, with India and the United States a distant second and third.

For lignite.

  • It has a carbon content around 25–35%. and is considered the lowest rank of coal due to its relatively low heat content.
  • When removed from the ground, it contains a very high amount of moisture which partially explains its low carbon content.
  • The combustion of lignite produces less heat for the amount of carbon dioxide and sulfur released than other ranks of coal. As a result, environmental advocates have characterized lignite as the most harmful coal to human health.
  • Depending on the source, various toxic heavy metals, including naturally occurring radioactive materials may be present in lignite which are left over in the coal fly ash produced from its combustion, further increasing health risks.
  • Lignite’s high moisture content and susceptibility to spontaneous combustion can cause problems in transportation and storage.

I don’t think, that we’ve ever burned lignite in the UK for electricity, as it is just too filthy.

This map shows the mine.

Note.

  1. The autobahn at the West of the map, is a six-land highway, so gives an idea of the scale.
  2. The village of Lützerath is towards the bottom of the map in the middle.
  3. What has been left after the mining, is going to take a lot of restoration.

It almost appears that some of the scenes of devastation, we are seeing in the Ukraine are also happening in Germany due to the frantic search for energy.

A 1960s-Educated Engineer’s Attitude To Coal

I was one of about four-hundred engineers in my year at Liverpool University in the 1960s.

  • Quite a few of those engineers were from coal-mining areas and some were children of miners.
  • I remember the graduate recruitment fair at the University in 1968, where the representative from the National Coal Board sat there alone, as if he’d got the 1960s version of Covid-19.
  • Some went and talked to him, as they felt sorry for him.
  • As far as I know, not one of us, went to work for the National Coal Board.

Engineers and other graduates of the 1960s, didn’t feel that coal was the future.

Had Aberfan and the other pit disasters of the era killed coal as a career, amongst my generation of the UK population?

What Should The Germans Do?

It is my view that whatever the Germans do, burning brown coal, should not be on the list. It’s just too polluting.

This article on euronews is entitled Germany And Poland Have A Dirty Big Secret – An Addiction To Brown Coal.

A few years ago, I was in Katowice on Poland and I have never seen such pollution in Europe, since the smogs of the 1950s.

The euronews article says this.

In eastern Germany some members of a little-known group claim they are being ethnically cleansed, not by militia groups, but by the coal mining industry.

Bulldozers have so far destroyed over 130 Sorb villages to make way for the mining of Europe’s dirtiest kind of fossil fuel – brown coal, or lignite as it is also known.

Brown coal mines are open cast and devour vast tracts of land. As well as whole villages farming and wildlife are destroyed.

The Penk family live in the village of Rohne. They feel their whole culture is also being destroyed.

Note that the Sorbs have a Wikipedia entry, which says there are 60,000 Sorbs in Germany.

One thing the Germans are doing is investing in the UK renewable energy industry.

  • RWE own or part-own over 7 GW of offshore wind farms in the UK, some of which are under development.
  • enBW and BP are developing 3 GW of offshore wind farms in the UK.
  • Over twenty offshore wind farms use Siemens Gamesa turbines.
  • The NeuConnect interconnector is being built between the Isle of Grain and Wilhelmshaven.

Would it not be better for the physical and mental health of German citizens, if they abandoned their dirty love of brown coal and spent the money in the North Sea?

January 10, 2023 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments