Offshore wind power is one of the key energy sources needed to reach the EU’s targets of renewable energies. Before wind energy can be harvested from an offshore wind park the wind turbines of course first need to be installed.
The installation of wind turbines offshore is generally performed by jack-up type wind turbine installation vessels. When sailing to and from the offshore wind park location these workunits can be considered as vessels, while installing the wind turbines in the offshore wind park as platforms. The phase in between these two operational stages, i.e. positioning of the legs on the seabed, is generally considered as the most critical phase in the whole installation process and is the limiting factor in the overall workability of a wind turbine installation vessel.
To increase insight, understand and be able to predict the complex interaction and loading mechanism between jack-up legs and the seabed during the moments of touch-down and lift-off MARIN and Deltares are joining forces within the Wind Jack JIP. The final objective of the Wind Jack JIP is to quantify operational limits and be able to predict the workability of jack-up type wind turbine installation vessels.