NDC and ORE Catapult join forces for floating wind research

4C Offshore | Tom Russell
By: 26/05/2022 NDC
The National Decommissioning Centre (NDC) and Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult have established a research partnership aimed at developing new offshore wind technologies.

The partnership initially consists of three PhD projects, each focusing on a different aspect of offshore wind development, including the simulation of floating offshore wind turbine (FOWT) systems, design optimisation of these systems, and environmental concerns. Each PhD project is valued at £84,000 and co-funded by ORE Catapult, the NDC and the School of Engineering at the University of Aberdeen.

The first project – Simulations of Floating Offshore Wind Marine Operations – will utilise the National Decommissioning Centre’s £1.6 million immersive simulation suite to trial virtual marine operations related to the installation and maintenance of FOWT systems in a risk-free environment.

The partnership is also progressing the Multi-objective Design Optimisation of Floating Offshore Wind Systems project, which aims to develop a numerical tool to improve the design of combined floating platforms and mooring and dynamic cable systems, allowing users to quickly identify the best solutions based on project circumstance and cost.

The final project in the partnership – Study of Environmental Interactions of FOW Technology – will investigate how key environmental stakeholders, advisory bodies and research organisations can work together to identify gaps in their knowledge of how offshore wind farms interact with the marine environment, and better identify solutions.

Dr Marcin Kapitaniak and Professor Richard Neilson from the University of Aberdeen are coordinating the projects at the NDC in Newburgh.

Dr Kapitaniak said: “We are delighted to be a part of this collaborative research project partnership between the NDC and ORE Catapult, which addresses a need for delivering innovation, impact and technical development in the field of floating wind, which is vital for achieving net zero and energy transition goals.

“Each project will run for a period of 3.5 years, and the results will inform approaches to offshore wind development and maintenance that have the potential to bring real improvements to current processes as well as cost savings to industry.”


Professor Neilson, NDC Director, added: “The collaboration between the partners was initiated when the NDC received support from EPSRC’s Supergen ORE Hub for a project aimed at the development of cost-effective methods of installation of floating wind farm anchors, which was co-funded by ORE Catapult and Aubin Group.

“This opened discussions about utilising the NDC’s unique and state-of-the-art simulations suite, which as well as being able to undertake detailed marine technology and operational simulations, can also conduct complex data modelling and visualisation.

“I am delighted that these discussions have come to fruition, and we look forward to working with colleagues in the ORE Catapult and our PhD students as part of this exciting initiative.”