The consulting engineering office VCE (Vienna Consulting Engineers ZT GmbH) was nominated for the Austrian Award for International Consulting 2023 for the project “Condition Monitoring System for the Offshore Windfarm EAST ANGLIA ONE”.
The Austrian Award for International Engineering Consulting of the Ministry of Economics recognizes outstanding achievements of civil engineers and engineering offices who make an important contribution to international competitiveness and was awarded for the 26th time on 11 October 2023. From 19 submitted projects five nominations and the Award for International Consulting were granted. The consulting engineering office VCE (Vienna Consulting Engineers ZT GmbH) was nominated and awarded for the project "Condition-Monitoring-System for the Offshore Windfarm EAST ANGLIA ONE ". The project shows a high level of innovation and supplies responses to relevant topics like renewable energy, saving of resources and climate protection. “This system is a sophisticated innovation for the health monitoring of offshore wind power plants. Thus, not only costs and CO2 can be saved but also consistency, resilience and a long service life can be ensured”, said Peter Furtner of VCE Vienna Consulting Engineers ZT GmbH.
Climate Neutrality through Wind Energy?
Wind energy and in particular offshore wind energy can considerably contribute to the EU’s goal to reach climate neutrality by 2050. For this purpose, at least 400 gigawatt of offshore wind power shall be established in Europe (incl. Great Britain and Norway) by 2050. For comparison: Up to now only a total of 25 gigawatt have been established. In order to increase capacity, offshore wind turbines become increasingly big and need massive foundation structures. These steel structures meanwhile reach up to 1,800 tons per wind plant and require huge ships and cranes for installation. In order to minimize the costs and the CO2 emissions, the structures must be kept as slender and light as possible. “Thanks to the condition monitoring system the foundation structures can be optimized and thus up to 50,000 tons of CO2 can be saved during installation and maintenance of big wind parks”, said Mr. Furtner.
Offshore Wind Farm Supplies 600,000 Households with “Green” Electricity
The condition monitoring system of VCE was used in the offshore wind farm East Anglia One (EA1), the first section of the former world’s biggest offshore wind farm with 3.7 gigawatt of total output. It is located approx. 45 km east of Great Britain and supplies up to 600,000 households with “green” electricity. EA1 consists of 102 turbines with 7 MW output each and a rotor diameter of 154 m each. Every turbine stands on an approx. 65 m high steel framework in approx. 45 m deep water. For better illustration: The US Statue of Liberty is only half as high as a wind turbine. The foundation alone weighs 845 tons per wind turbine. These so-called “jackets” must safely transfer the static loads and operating loads of the turbine, the wind loads and the wave loads into the sea floor over an operating period of 30 years. At the same time the jackets must be kept as slender and light as possible to enable the transport and the offshore installation. The loads and load spectrums are currently not completely known or predictable for the whole lifetime of such structures. Therefore, VCE has developed and implemented a total concept for the condition monitoring system together with the client, the planning office for the wind park and the approval authorities to ensure the safe operation by permanent measurements and condition monitoring. For this purpose, sensors were mounted at the foundation structures and the wind turbines. The project also includes the supply and installation of the respective measurement instrumentation, the central data server and the software for the data management, the data analysis and the visualization of the results.
Photo rights, captions:
(from left to right): DI Hermann Wallner (President ACA), Dr. Günther Achs, DI Peter Furtner and Martin Stöger (all of VCE Vienna Consulting Engineers ZT GmbH), SC Mag. Roland Weinert (BMAW) Copyright: VCE, printing free of charge
The condition monitoring system of VCE ensures the consistency, resilience and a long service life of wind turbines. Copyright: BMAW/Silveri, printing free of charge