Fred Olsen 1848, a Bonheur company, has revealed a new foundation design claimed to be a game-changer that could unlock the potential of floating offshore wind.
After several years of development, the floating foundation called Brunel enters the market at an advanced technological stage (Technological Readiness Level 4), with a final tank test completed at SINTEF Ocean in Norway earlier this year, followed by DNV’s statement of feasibility in April.
“The design of Brunel is based on a simple, yet challenging design philosophy: to see if we can build a foundation based on generic steel tubulars and hence enable manufacturing at a commercial scale. This radical focus on commercial requirements, while at the same time attending to excellence on all technical parameters, will allow the floating offshore wind industry to realise its enormous potential,” asserted Sofie Olsen Jebsen, CEO of Fred Olsen 1848.
The floater is said to harness the advantage of sourcing and procurement from an existing global supply chain and also offers a wide range of geographical deployment areas, scalability to fit the next generation of wind turbines without noticeable changes to the design, and sports a low draft, implying flexibility in ports.
The company said it plans to make Brunel available for commercial use within three years and is working with customers and other partners to position it as the floater of choice for the large-scale floating offshore wind farms to be built. For Fred Olsen 1848, an instrumental part of the floater has been to reduce the maintenance requirements, and the company is set to unveil its floating maintenance solutions that do not require towing the foundations to shore for component exchange.