One of the main challenges faced is supplying a growing world population with electricity from clean and renewable energy sources. Energy from offshore wind farms can be a very suitable source. However, installing new offshore wind turbines is a big and highly complex operation that requires a large upfront investment.
Monopiles are the most commonly used substructures for offshore wind turbines. It is a single steel tube that is hammered into the seafloor. Due to the cost-effectiveness and simplicity of monopiles, over 80% of offshore wind turbines are placed on this type of foundation. However, the installation method for monopiles called piling comes with several downsides:
1. Each hammer blow creates high noise levels that are harmful to marine life. Several European governments have introduced regulations that result in the mandated use of expensive noise mitigation such as bubble curtains.
2. Piling operations using a hydraulic hammer and noise mitigation are complex, time-consuming and therefore prone to delays in bad-weather conditions.
3. The impact of the hydraulic hammer on the top of the pile causes severe fatigue damage to the foundation pile, leading to overdesigned, heavy and thus more expensive monopiles.
GBM Works is developing a new method installing offshore wind turbine foundations, the GBM Vibro-drill. Using their patent-pending technology, GBM Works aims to solve the above problems and revolutionize the way that foundations are installed at sea.
|Participation since||December 2016|
|Linked faculty||Civil Engineering
|Company history and milestones|
||GBM Works started with Climate-KIC accelerator|
|December 2016||Received Take-off 1 funding|
|May 2017||Winner of the Philips Innovation Awards 2017|
|August 2017||Successful test with a proof of concept prototype|
|December 2017||Received Take-off 2 funding|