Fraunhofer IWES surveys Baltic Eagle seabed

In: Windfarms
Fraunhofer IWES is conducting a boulder detection and geohazard survey of 50 wind turbine locations and the associated offshore substation within the Baltic Eagle offshore wind farm on behalf of Iberdrola S.A. The three-week measurement campaign in the Baltic Sea took place back in October and November 2020, using the novel proprietary Manta Ray G1 system developed by Fraunhofer IWES for data recording. The acquired data is currently being interpreted at the institute with the goal of completing the project by the end of April 2021.

Iberdrola S.A. and Baltic Eagle GmbH were awarded the rights to construct the
Baltic Eagle offshore wind farm in the Baltic Sea in 2018. The Baltic Eagle OWF is located northeast of the German island of Rügen in the direct vicinity of existing and planned offshore wind farms.

“We are happy to be working with Fraunhofer IWES on boulder detection to minimize the risks involved in installing large diameter monopiles in challenging ground conditions,”
explained Kevin O’Reilly, Ground Engineering Manager for Baltic Eagle.

The Manta Ray G1 is a data acquisition system developed by Fraunhofer IWES and the University of Bremen specifically for the purpose of diffraction imaging and the localisation of point diffracts within marine sediments. Diffraction refers to the deflection of waves by an obstacle. In addition to the diffraction data, conventional 3D seismic reflection data is acquired along the profile lines.

The system operates on the principle that objects within the seafloor act as point diffractors when illuminated by a signal source. The recording of the resulting acoustic diffractions and accurate processing of the diffracted energy allow localisation of the original diffraction, i.e., the boulder in the sediment. The specially designed acquisition geometry of the Manta Ray G1, together with synthetic aperture processing, allows blanket coverage of the survey area.

“Fraunhofer IWES is supporting Iberdrola in de-risking the monopile foundations planned in Baltic Eagle by deploying its proprietary boulder imaging technology. Tasks like these showcase our ability to provide tailored solutions for the challenges posed by offshore site investigation. As such, we are making a major contribution to supporting the wind energy industry to overcome the limitations of state of the art technology,”
stressed Dr. Benedict Preu, Head of Department Sub-surface Investigations at Fraunhofer IWES.

Baltic Eagle project, slated for delivery and installation in 2022 and 2023, is located in German waters off the island of Rügen. The project will have a total capacity of up to 476 MW and span an area of 35km2. It was named one of the winners of the German capacity auction held back in April 2018.

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