Design Verification and Certification for Floating Wind Platform Offshore UK
A design and development firm had designed a new semisubmersible floating platform foundation concept for offshore wind energy production in the UK. While the design incorporates several existing technologies from offshore oil and gas platforms and the shipbuilding and offshore wind industry, the client requested third-party design verification and project certification for this innovative technology to assess its safety and quality in accordance with applicable standards and regulations.
The client sought an advisor that could deliver technical knowledge and practical experience in verifying new design concepts for floating offshore wind facilities and that would work as an independent certification body for this demonstration project.
- Verify design aspects/requirements for safety and quality
- Review applicable guidelines for building floating wind turbine installations
- Demonstrate that the new concept meets applicable standards and regulations
Provide preliminary planning and advice ahead of certification process
Follow project certification methodology to verify that project complies with standards, regulations and specifications
Confirm requisite quality of the manufacturing, fabrication, installation and commissioning of the project
For this project, ABS Group's renewable energy group assembled a team of experienced engineers, inspectors and project management staff, including subject matter experts in key disciplines from affiliated companies. Our certification program focuses on five principal areas: the floating support structure, station-keeping system, onboard machinery, associated equipment and systems and wind turbine generators (WTGs). We are executing the project in six verification phases, using the ABS Guide for Building and Classing Floating Offshore Wind Turbine Installations as technical guidance in addition to applicable industry standards and regulations.
Phase I: Verification of Design Basis
For the first phase, ABS Group provided preliminary planning and advice (PPA) in advance of the project certification process. Our subject matter experts helped the client explore ideas and also provided technical resources to support the client's project team with document and drawing review.
Our engineers worked with the client's designers to maintain a systems perspective at the preliminary design stage and verify that risks, inconsistencies and ambiguities were identified. During the design review process, we provided feedback using design query notes for traceability purposes.
Phase II – Design Verification
In the next phase, our renewable energy team will review the detailed structural design of the floating foundation and verify if the WTGs' type certificate covers the site-specific conditions at the planned offshore UK location.
Phase III – Manufacturing Surveillance and Verification
The third phase involves carrying out surveillance and inspections during the fabrication of the floating support structure and WTGs. Our renewable energy team will issue approval of the WTGs based on design verification, evaluation of quality control, testing and measurements.
Phase IV – Transportation and Installation Survey
To minimize the risks associated with transportation and installation, we will perform surveillance on these activities to verify conformity with the design basis requirements. Our engineers will confirm that the loads on the structure and its components will not exceed the design envelope during transportation and installation. Our surveillance will also confirm that any handling damages would be detected on a timely basis.
Phase V – Commissioning Survey
For the fourth verification phase, our renewable energy team will review commissioning procedures for the initial energizing of the WTG electrical system. We will confirm appropriate and functional operation and controls.
Since the floating platforms may have crew present for ongoing maintenance and operations, our inspector will verify that personnel safety features, including checks of operational readiness for lifesaving equipment and escape routes.
Phase VI – In-Service Certification Maintenance
To verify that the required standards are maintained throughout the lifetime of the floating support structure, ABS Group will facilitate periodic annual surveys and inspections of the entire asset, including structural, mechanical and electrical systems, through 2018. These annual surveys will carry out a detailed scope of work to confirm to whether or not the structure and its elements continue to comply with the approved design specifications.
In this multiphase project, the client will receive design verification and project certification for a novel floating platform foundation concept that will produce offshore renewable wind energy for the UK and demonstrate the viability of a game-changing approach to offshore wind installations.
Our experience verifying floating wind foundation concepts and organizational experience working with offshore structures and marine assets supports our certification process. This broad experience also enables our engineers to advise the client on a number of key concepts and strategies for the design of this innovative technology.