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UCC partners with Atlantic Technological University on Floating Offshore Wind Research Project

25 Apr 2024

UCC is to participate in a pivotal floating offshore wind (FLOW) research project designed to support the FLOW sector. This project is led by Atlantic Technological University (ATU) and supported by financial contribution from Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland under the SEAI Research, Development & Demonstration Funding Programme 2023.

The project aligns with the Programme’s overall objective of funding innovative research to contribute to Ireland’s transition to a clean and secure energy future.

Anchor and Mooring Selection for Floating Offshore Wind (AMS-FLOW) is a three-year project led by the Contract Research Unit (CRU) at ATU Sligo. The project aims to deliver a comprehensive set of technical and financial outputs tailored for the Floating Offshore Wind sector. The project partners include Wind Energy Ireland (WEI), Exceedence Ltd, and Dublin Offshore Technology (DOT) Ltd.

At the recent project kick-off meeting, Dr. Michael O’Shea, School of Engineering & Architecture, expressed UCC's enthusiasm for the AMS-FLOW project: 

“This project builds upon UCC’s research into the performance of floating offshore wind platforms in harsh Atlantic conditions which is one of the greatest challenges to developing Ireland's offshore renewable energy capacity into 2040 and beyond".

Gregorio Iglesias, Professor of Energy Engineering at UCC added:

“UCC is delighted to participate in the AMS-FLOW project, which will contribute to the development of floating wind energy technologies. Floating wind is poised to play an essential role in the exploitation of the vast offshore wind resources in Ireland”.

Key project activities include anchor performance analysis at ATU Sligo (physical and numeric testing), innovative characterisation of metocean conditions at UCC, mooring arrangements, materials, and load reduction studies conducted by DOT, and the development of a bespoke techno-financial tool by Exceedence Ltd in Cork. Wind Energy Ireland (WEI) will manage communications and dissemination efforts.

Focused on areas most likely for FLOW development, this project, in collaboration with partners from Irish third-level institutions and SMEs, will offer internationally significant targeted solutions, thereby strengthening Ireland's national research capacity.

To address technical challenges, AMS-FLOW proposes enhancements to existing metocean characterisation methodologies to ensure greater understanding of design conditions. Furthermore, conventional station-keeping systems present technical and commercial challenges, necessitating innovative mooring and anchoring solutions. The project will produce evidence-based solutions, promoting the use of synthetic mooring lines (moving away from the heavy reliance on steel chains), thereby offering Irish net manufacturing companies an opportunity to meet future demand and create local employment opportunities.

Ken Russell, the Project Manager, commented:

“ATU is pleased to lead this ambitious research project, which brings together talent from academia and industry to produce a suite of evidence-based techno-economic data that the industry, benefitting indigenous supply chain, developers and policy makers.”

The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), is Ireland’s national energy authority with a mission to be at the heart of delivering Ireland’s energy revolution. SEAI partner with citizens, communities, businesses, and Government to drive the reduction and replacement of fossil fuel usage. SEAI invest in and deliver appropriate, effective, and sustainable solutions to help Ireland’s transition to a clean energy future.  

SEAI is funded by the Government of Ireland through the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications. 

More project details to come soon on Wind Energy Ireland’s website.

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