Impressions of parallel matchmaking sessions Matchmaking Day TKI Wind op Zee

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TKI Wind op Zee
Topsector Algemeen

In the afternoon of the 13th of February - during the Matchmaking Day - 5 parallel matchmaking sessions were held. The sessions started with 3 presentations by companies or research institutes, followed by discussions in the group. The major part of the presentations has already been published here 

Below an impression of the matchmaking sessions that were given about:

  1. Zero breakdown & robotization
  2. Optimal wind farm design
  3. Balance of plant optimisation
  4. Integration in the energy system
  5. Integration in the environment


1. Zero breakdown & robotization  

Presentations were given by  Taco Mets (van Meeuwen), Koen Hermans (TNO) and Geert Timmers (Deutsche Windtechnik). This session was hosted by Ferry Visser (Fieldlab Zephyros). 

Lubricants play a major role in the life endurance of wind turbines. Taco presented a project idea on measuring real-time the lubricant quality on several parameters providing accurate data which can be used to develop an optimal lubricant composition (accurate additive supplementation) and maintenance strategy. Smart drivetrain lubrication performance is a step towards zero maintenance and will increase energy yield while reducing operating  costs as well.  

Breakdown of cables results in high and unforeseen costs and revenue loss for wind farms. Koen presented a project idea to develop methods where robotics will be applied for unburial, repair and re-burial of cables, possibly on top of or replacing one of the currently used methods (i.e. a) underwater repair, b) cutting the cable, lifting, reconnecting and burial and c) by pass cable laying). 

Sub-sea inspections are done visually, which is not always accurate and objective, besides these inspections are  expensive. Geert presented a project idea for subsea inspections without or with little human intervention using (unmanned) CTV’s and ROV’s. Inspection items could be corrosion, fatigue, foundation stability/scour, marine growth, external damage, cable connection/burial.    

The session resulted in a number of potentially interested project partners for all these three project ideas. Besides that, participants of the session have also proposed issues like drone technology, Risk Mosaic, fibreoptic system developer, self-managed robots.     


 2. Optimal wind farm design 

Presentations were given by René Lindeboom (Ørsted), Jasper Kreeft (Shell) and Roderik Hoekstra (Deltares) and Bernard Bulder (TNO). 

Ørsted considers wind farm engineering as a competitive aspect in ensuring project success. Rene points out that there are challenges related to larger wind farms and a higher concentration of windfarms in certain areas. Wake- and blockage effects have a negative impact on power production, but models are not accurate enough for prediction. Drones and autonomous vessels are important developments. The challenge with larger turbines is seen at the OEM side, where new materials for blades and generator technology have to progress considerably. Maritime planning and multi-use have increasing importance. Proposals from third parties are appreciated.    

In his presentation, Jasper pays attention to the experiences of Shell with windfarms situated near the US East Coast. The US situation and system differ from that in Western Europe. An interesting feature is that in the US fishing grounds had already previously been divided among fishermen and that the park layout is adjusted to that. Other feature points are the marine corridors, which also function as wake recovery zones 

Flat oysters are put on some of the monopiles of windfarms Borssele 3 en 4. A multi-year scientific program has started to learn under which conditions flat oysters best reproduce.          

Design of large windfarms has a multi-disciplinary nature, including many models, processing large amounts of data to create the optimal design. In their presentation, Roderik and Bernard propose the development of a community-developed,  integrated open-source design framework, available for the project partners and sponsors.  This approach should lead to increased knowledge and insight by the partners of integral effects of the wind farm performance, design optimisation and integration in the environment.


3. Balance of plant optimisation  

Presentations were given by Laurens Pots (TKF), Wouter de Wildt (van Oord) and Jelle Muller (Shell). This session was hosted by David de Jager (GROW). 

Laurens told that TKF is working on innovative technologies for subsea cabling. These technologies will prevent failure during installation and maintenance and reduce installation costs. It is a necessary innovation as traditional cables may not always be 100% watertight, damaging the cable can lead to reducing its lifetime. Also special focus on installation time and reduction of termination risk. E.g. Installation of TKF cable in J-tube is reduced to about 30 minutes. This is a noticeably reduced installation time and the installation is easy with “IKEA-like instructions”. TKF will continue focusing on innovation and improvement. It will, among others, focus on cable capacity improvement and risk reduction. Important to note is that TKF cables are for 97% recyclable. For matchmaking, TKF would like to focus on cooperation on monitoring possibilities and further improvement of Installation performance.  

Wouter compared Balance of Plant with mastering a Formula 1 race. Innovation on the planning and execution part of the race is a must to succeed, and enabling technology is required to take part. In Balance of Plant this can be interpreted as innovating on the design and project control, and again enabling technology is needed to make a difference. Van Oord is cooperating with different knowledge institutes (universities, research centres and R&D networks) in their innovation efforts. Two examples of their involvement in designing innovation projects are the Borssele V Eco scour protection and the Borssele V Slip Joint. For matchmaking Van Oord is looking for solutions to overcome many challenges they foresee in Offshore Wind: installation of next-generation wind turbines and foundations, cable design and installation, foundation design and soil interaction, noise mitigation and subsea design & ecology.  

Jelle explained that for Shell the Balance of Plant key drivers when it comes to innovations are: Safety (HSSE), Optimal Design and Cost reduction. Shell is supporting innovation through different initiatives: Shell Research Connect, Shell Gamechanger and Shell Ventures. Shell works with, among others, Carbon Trust, GROW, NYSERDA and Zephyros. In addition to this Shell supports the development of floating wind activities. Shell supports the industry to come up with new activities. Shell aims to find companies to cooperate with and show these companies how to find Shell.  

David de Jager (GROW) concluded the session by the suggestion to cooperate and combine different test cases or pilots offshore. By sharing and combining test locations, more and larger-scale innovations can be tested. 


4. Integration in the energy system 

Short introducing presentations were given by: 

  • Jörg Gigler (TKI Nieuw Gas) on Hydrogen,  
  • Rene Peters (TNO & TKI Nieuw Gas) on the North Sea Energy consortium, focusing on activities related to integration of Wind Energy, Hydrogen, Re-use of existing O&G infrastructure and CO2 storage. 
  • Andreas ten Cate (TKI Energy and Industry) discussed developments in electrification in the industry.  

Following and during the presentations there were various suggestions from the participants:  

Ideas for floating H2 storage facilities for bunkering in ports were presented in the context of a regional approach in Zeeland – Flanders for hybridisation of shipping. More general there is a good potential for collaboration in energy and hydrogen developments between Flanders and the Netherlands, some ideas already being developed jointly. It was also suggested to start with smaller-scale demonstration projects e.g. using hydrogen in CTVs.  

There is a general agreement that H2 is a solution for system integration and before moving H2 production to offshore sites, starting with onshore production may be beneficial and more feasible.  

But not just H2 is an energy storage solution; a concept for strengthening dikes can be applied for use for energy storage (potential energy). This could contribute significantly to balancing of the energy system.  

And the uncertainty in production forecasting will become a more important item for balancing the grid. There is know-how in the Netherlands to work on that topic.


5. Integration in the environment 

Presentations were given by Erik-Jan de Ridder (Marin), Luca van Duren (Deltares) and Josien Steenbergen (Wageningen Marine Research) and Christiaan van Sluis (de Rijke Noordzee). 

Erik-Jan discussed the results of testing the effects of waves on floating solar panels and seaweed installations, and what this implies for the construction and design of these installations. He also introduced the OASIS project. In this project a nature enhancing element will be developed and tested with a cost efficient and low risk installation method.   

Luca and Josien discussed a number of running projects. These focus strongly on nature development and less on food production. They formulated an ambition of 500 m2 for sea farms in 2050, starting with a mariculture pilot of 100 ha.  They also formulated a roadmap to a viable sustainable business case for sea farming within windfarms.  

Christiaan highlighted the “Rich North Sea” (Rijke Noordzee) programme. Bottlenecks are the hatchery for flat oyster source material, the monitoring of the baseline conditions for biodiversity, the active restoration of natural reefs and substrates, the introduction of artificial reefs and the monitoring of the effects of reef communities. These bottlenecks are challenging themes for innovation programs, for which partners are welcome.