Proving cost effective technology for floating substructures for 10MW wind turbines at water depths greater than 50 m

  • Challenge


    There is a need for new innovative substructure concepts, including floating platforms, to reduce production, installation and O&M costs for water depths of more than 50m.


    • Optimize and qualify to a Technology Readiness Level – TRL of 5, two innovative substructure designs for 10MW turbines

    • Develop a streamlined and KPI (key performance indicator) based methodology for the evaluation and qualification process of floating substructures


    – Floating wind turbines installed in water depths from 50m to 200m

    – Offshore wind farms of large wind turbines (10MW) – identified to be the most effective way of reducing cost of energy in short term



  • Goals


    1. Substructure design for very large floating offshore wind turbines (10MW)
    2. Methodologies for design evaluation, including LCOE (Levelized Cost of Energy)


    To realize these goals, we need:

    1. Multi-fidelity numerical tools in the context of qualifying and optimizing large substructures
    2. Experimental techniques specific to floating offshore wind turbines
    3. Concept industrialization, as an early focus in the design
    4. Uncertainty and risk assessment related to unprecedented large wind turbine substructures



    • Mature floating substructure design synchronized with the expected time-to-market of 10MW offshore wind turbine technology
    • Increased scientific and industrial knowledge on numerical and experimental design methodologies and procedures, also enabling more streamlined, KPI based developments
    • Ultimately, a considerable LCOE reduction for large floating offshore wind farms


  • Approach









  • Concepts



  • Conclusion


    In overall, the project has achieved its objectives and milestones, as stated in the Description of Action, by delivering two optimized, innovative substructure designs for 10 MW turbines that have been qualified to TRL of 5 through experimental validation in relevant environment. The two Selected Designs have also undergone an industrialization process to guarantee their MRL. A streamlined and KPI-based methodology for the evaluation and qualification process for steel and concrete substructures of floating substructures has been developed and applied to the four upscaled substructure concepts. The results from the above-mentioned processes has culminated into guidelines and recommended practices.

    Final Event – WindEurope Conference & Exhibition 2019 in Bilbao

    Final Event – WindEurope Conference & Exhibition 2019 in Bilbao

    The market for FOWT are still in the development stage with a few full-scale prototypes and only in the 2MW range and several other concepts under design in the 5-6 MW range. The LIFES50+ ambition have been to go one-step further and advance well beyond the SoA with substructure design at TRL 5 for two concepts for very large FOWT (10MW). In addition, to develop and/or improve available cost analysis tools, by delivering comprehensive methodologies and multi-criteria cost calculation tool using a life cycle approach for design evaluation, including LCOE.

    The outcome of the project has been to deliver mature floating substructure design (at TRL of 5), synchronized with the expected time-to-market of 10MW offshore wind turbines technology, increased scientific and industrial knowledge on numerical and experimental design methodologies and procedures. The overall effect is to have the technology basis available to achieve LCOE reduction of more than 15% just through larger wind turbines in a 5-years horizon. Finally, the LIFES50+ project have enhanced the development of offshore wind farms, and by this contributing to increasing the share of renewable generation in the power system. Assuming that this replaces generation from conventional coal fired power plants in the long terms, emissions will be reduced with some several million tonnes of CO2 for every TWh of offshore wind generation.


Germanischer Lloyd Industrial Services GMBH (Germany)
Danmarks Tekniske Universitet (Denmark)
SINTEF Ocean (Norway)
Ramboll Management Consulting GMBH (Germany)
Ideol (France)
Catalonia Institute for Energy Research (Spain)
Fundacion Tecnalia Research & Innovation (Spain)
Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult (United Kingdom)
Politecnico di Milano (Italy)
Dr.techn.Olav Olsen AS (Norway)
University of Stuttgart (Germany)
NAUTILUS Floating Solutions (Spain)


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Petter Andreas Berthelsen

Project Coordinator

Mobile: +47 952 22 139