EDP backs offshore wind robot development centre

by Tom Russell in Windfarms 17/01/2020 EDP

A European real-time maritime robot testing centre is being set up on the coast of Viana do Castelo. The Atlantis Test Center aims to validate of robotic solutions for the inspection and maintenance of offshore wind infrastructure in extreme weather conditions of the Atlantic Ocean.

The European project Atlantis - The Atlantic Testing Platform for Maritime Robotics: New Frontiers for Inspection and Maintenance of Offshore Energy Infrastructures- is being led by INESC TEC with the participation of EDP and support from various technological and academic partners. The project aims to create a platform in Europe to demonstrate robotic technologies and solutions for the inspection and maintenance of offshore wind farms around the world.

Autonomous robots (underwater, surface and air) will be developed and tested in various industrial scenarios, such as the inspection of mooring lines, the monitoring underwater structures and turbine cleaning. The use of robots in this sector aims to mitigate risk and reduce the cost of operating and maintaining offshore wind farms, particularly in deep water.

The centre will use
WindFloat Atlantic project to validate and demonstrate robotic applications, developed by research centres or technological companies, that contribute to the sustainability of this sector.

WindFloat, namely WindFloat Atlantic, is a giant step in creating new markets for renewable energies and in particular for the wind sector. The Atlantis project is strategic for the company because of its focus on one of the central vectors that will decisively contribute to increasing the competitiveness of floating offshore wind power: innovative operation and maintenance, creating viable new options for removing carbon dioxide from the energy system and society," said João Maciel, R&D Director at EDP.

“Atlantis Test Center will enable us to quantify the added value of new robotic technology and accelerate our integration into the maritime wind power industry. The project is based on a true symbiosis between the energy and maritime robotics industries. This innovation center will be installed in Viana do Castelo and will be of strategic importance for the scientific robotics road-map across Europe,”
said Andry Maykol Pinto, project coordinator and researcher at INESC TEC.

"The Atlantis Test Center will be an excellent opportunity for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to develop technologies that enhance the sustainability of the maritime wind sector, as they will be able to experimentally evaluate their products and tailor their offerings to the needs and expectations of an emerging market."

The project, which is expected to last three years, has a total investment of € 8.5 million financed by the H2020 - Framework Program for Research and Innovation. In addition to INESC TEC and EDP NEW Center for New Energy Technologies (Portugal), the consortium includes eight partners from 5 countries: Teknologian Tutkimuskeskus VTT and ABB OY (Finland), Principle Power France and ECA Robotics (France), Space Application Services NV (Belgium), IQUA Robotics and Universitat de Girona (Spain) and RINA Consulting SPA (Italy).

For more information on offshore wind farms worldwide, click here.

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