The offshore wind industry is an ever-growing global industry, and will form one of the main energy sources of the future. Although the wind industry’s end deliverable is clean energy, diesel generators are still being used during the construction phase to support the build-up and maintaining of the farms.
The large offshore wind turbines need to be placed on top of steel transition pieces in the foundations, which are very similar in design and height above wave base as oil & gas topsides. The placement of the foundations normally occur 12-18 months before the turbine itself is placed. During this time the steel foundations require power to run the ICCP (Impressed Current Cathodic Protection) systems before being grid connected.
Traditionally, small diesel gensets are deployed on each of the 40-80 transition pieces to support these low power requirements. However, significant issues that are identified with the use of small diesel gensets during the build-up phase of the offshore wind farms are:
- High costs to regularly fill the units by boat
- Maintenance for the gensets after every 400-500 running hrs.
- Environmental issues due to diesel spillage during refuelling
- Noise pollution
- CO2 output
In addition to supporting the power requirements for the ICCP’s, the EnergyPod supports the remote monitoring of essential warning systems to ensure fulfillment of the obstruction marking obligations for offshore structures.
After installation the large turbines require auxiliary power to support its internal power consumption, for example; de-icing of blades, start-up, lights, controllers, communication, sensors, metering, and data collection. All of which the EnergyPod can support remotely.