GBM Works secures funding for quiet foundation installation solution

In: Windfarms
GBM Works, which has developed a method for quieter and faster installation of wind turbines at sea, has received a subsidy of €1.8 million from the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO). This will enable a prototype to be built. The company is also participating in a large offshore innovation project, in which various innovative installation methods are being tested in practice.

Currently, the piles of wind turbines (so-called monopiles) are driven into the seabed, which leads to noise pollution. Contractors therefore often work with noise-reducing measures such as ‘bubble screens’.

GBM Works, a spin-off from Delft University of Technology, claims it has developed a method for anchoring wind turbines in the seabed almost without noise. A waterjet is used to liquefy the soil on the inside of the tube. In combination with vibrating the pile, this removes the resistance and the monopile sinks easily into the ground.

The new foundation method was tested last fall on the Maasvlakte. GBM Works stated that in addition to a reduction in noise pollution, the patented Jet-gun installation technology appears to work twice as deep and four times as fast. It provides an accurate prediction of the desired depth, speed and corresponding machine settings.

Founder and Director Ben Arntz: “In the coming years many wind turbines will be placed at sea to achieve the EU climate targets. However, the construction has an enormous impact on marine life. In particular, the noise under water causes a lot of nuisance for the environment. With our technology, we not only ensure that the environmental nuisance disappears, it also makes construction faster and therefore cheaper.”

With funding, the GBM Works can further develop its silent and patented installation method technically. The goal is a prototype that is able to penetrate both hard clay and sandy soils.

GROW, a research programme in offshore wind aimed at quickening innovations, has asked the spin-off to participate in the SIMOX project, in which several innovative installation methods are being tested.

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