Offshore wind is increasingly preferred due to better wind conditions and agricultural land use conflict.
Offshore wind turbine foundations on the one hand, need enhanced inspection/maintenance technologies to ensure the installations remain operational over their full working lives.
However, current inspection and maintenance techniques are very costly constituting ~65% total operation & maintenance costs, with >50% of this due to scheduled hazardous diver-based visual inspections or corrective inspection/maintenance. Reducing operation and maintenance costs remains a key priority for offshore wind industry.
The projects objectives
- iFROG proposes to combine enabling capabilities in electronics/sensors/photonics and mobile robotics to deliver advanced marinised systems for inspection and predictive maintenance of offshore wind turbine foundations both above and below the waterline (down to 60m water depth).
- A risk-based approach will be used to develop a team of robots able to carry out the detailed tasks of inspection using autonomous features to allow adhesion, navigation and deployment of non-destructive testing via phase array ultrasonic testing sensing to derive appropriate maintenance strategies to ensure continued power operation and improving overall system competitiveness.
- iFROG will save an estimated £150k p.a. per foundation.
- Improve the cost-effectiveness and sustainability of offshore wind; encouraging future investment and benefiting energy security and the environment.
Innovative Technology & Science Ltd. (InnoTecUK), Project Coordinator, Brunel University London, (BIC), TWI Ltd (TWI), The Underwater Centre, Fort William, (TUC). Subcontractor: Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult (OREC)
This project was co-funded by the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK.