Dublin Offshore develops Load Reduction Device, targets floating wind

Marine energy solutions provider Dublin Offshore has developed a Load Reduction Device (LRD) for floating offshore wind moorings.

Funded by the Scottish government as part of its Floating Wind Technology Accelerator Competition (FLW TAC), the LRD is a subsea component of an offshore mooring system, targeting floating wind. Dublin Offshore reports that its device is fully scaleable and tuneable, in order to deliver project-specific mooring response requirements.

The development involved several key activities, including: mooring analysis, tank testing, third party certification, ocean testing, and LCOE analysis. Numerical modelling was validated via physical prototype testing in the deep ocean basin at Ireland’s National Ocean Test Facility, Lir. DNV provided third-party certification, issuing a Statement of Feasibility for the technology.

A quarter-scale LRD was deployed for ocean testing, and accumulated 1,200 hours of continuous operation, including through Hurricane Epsilon and Storm Aiden, when a full-scale equivalent wave height of 22m was measured at the site. Data gathered and subsequent analysis were certified by the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) and the system was verified as robust, with no damage or degradation.

Dublin Offshore claims that the LRD can reduce LCOE by 8% compared to semi-taut mooring systems. CAPEX reductions in the mooring system and platform drive these savings, which will increase to more than 10% compared to chain catenary systems, according to Dublin Offshore.

Darren Hayes, Dublin Offshore’s Director, said: “The LRD has been demonstrated to be a highly effective and reliable solution to reduce the cost of mooring systems. We were delighted to work with the Carbon Trust, and Floating Wind Joint Industry Project partners on this breakthrough project.”

Hannah Evans, Manager at the Carbon Trust, said: “We are really pleased to see the progress Dublin Offshore have made on the Load Reduction Device over the past 12 months. Their technology addresses challenges faced by the floating wind industry to reduce mooring line loads, and ultimately reduce the cost of floating wind. We look forward to seeing their continued progress in the years to come.”

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