A suction bucket foundation for an offshore wind turbine that can be assembled with bolts at the port before it is taken to its location. That is the result of a project between Aalborg University, Siemens Gamesa, Universal Foundation A/S and Fred. Olsen Wind Carrier A/S. A result that could lower the price of the foundations by up to 40%, which will ultimately reduce consumers’ electricity bills
The foundation is one of the major costs associated with the establishment of offshore wind turbines, but with this new foundation design, it is possible to reduce the cost by up to 40%. The main reason for this is that the foundations can be produced on an industrial scale and be assembled at the port, rather than having to be welded in a shipyard. The parts for the foundations can therefore be mass-produced and shipped by container to the location from which it is to be assembled and subsequently shipped. Finally, the new design requires significantly less steel. Overall, the new design is an important milestone towards increased industrialisation of the wind energy sector.
Gentle to marine environments and promotes recycling of steel
Another very positive effect of suction bucket foundations is that they can be installed virtually noise-free because the foundation is sucked into the seabed, rather than being pounded into place. This is of immense benefit to e.g. whales and other sea life. After many years, when the wind turbine comes to the end of its service life, the foundations can be dismantled and the steel melted down and recycled.