The wind industry used different types of equipment in the past for transporting and storing tower sections for offshore wind turbines. This happened despite the fact that the wind turbine towers are very much the same across manufacturers in the industry. The difference between the equipment used for transport on lorries and ships made it difficult for the subcontractors, who carried the freight of the tower sections, to make the task more efficient and thus reduce the cost of transport.
The Innovation Project Common Equipment Towers has met this challenge by designing and testing a common transport and storage equipment for offshore wind turbine towers. The finished equipment is flexible and can be mounted on different truck brands and rented out through a rental system. The new solution reduces the costs to the wind industry with the transport of wind turbine tower sections, as in future the supply chain can use the same equipment for transporting wind turbine tower sections from different suppliers, as is known, for example, from standard containers or the European union in other sectors.
The innovation project has resulted in a new design that can be used for all tower sections Ø4-7 up to 200 tons. The design is freely available and can be used by anyone without restrictions (Download).
“For example, there is a business area right now in operating and handling tower equipment for a unified industry. We often peak at different times, and if we can share the gear instead of each of us having a lot of iron lying around, it will benefit us all. There are opportunities in this – but it is actually also a necessity if we are to realize the potential”, says Jesper Møller from Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy.
Read more about the project here
In connection with the establishment of wind farms, the authorities require location that reduces the risk of bird migration colliding with the wind turbines. There are also requirements for deterrents that can change the direction of bird migration and in some cases also require the turbines to be stopped for a shorter period of time. Compliance requires data for bird deposits in the desired establishment area. Data has so far been collected through surveillance from aircraft.
However, flight counts have not in all cases made it possible to collect an adequate data base, which is why the number of birds has often been overestimated. Deterrents are expensive to acquire, install and maintain and a temporary stop of wind turbines due to the risk of bird migration means lost production and is thus costly. There has therefore been a need for a better determination of the risk of collision between bird migration and offshore wind farms.
The Innovation Project Bird Colission Avoidance has developed a new AI technology that optimizes the prediction of bird migration and thus saves wind farms millions. The innovation project has ensured access to new and more extensive data on bird deposits from the aviation industry, which collects data from radar and satellite. A model has also been developed which, using artificial intelligence, has improved the prediction of bird migration. Thus, using better data and artificial intelligence, a model has been developed that can assess on a better and more detailed basis the location of wind farms and the need for deterrents. The model can also help improve the operation of each park by minimizing unnecessary disruptions by predicting bird deposits more accurately.
Read more about the project in the press
Storing renewable energy over a long period of time is a prerequisite in the energy system of the future. Storing energy in a thermal storage unit can for instance be achieved by converting electricity into hot water or hot air, which is led into the storage units through pipes. Opposite, when the storage unit is cooled, the hot water or hot air in pipes is sent out of the storage unit, after which it is converted into electricity again. When the heat is fed into pipes, there is a loss of pressure, which reduces the efficiency of the storage. The storage unit can be made up of different materials, which have different ability to absorb heat. Pressure loss in the piping and storage unit depending on the material in which the energy is stored is interdependent, which is why experiments are needed to provide knowledge about how the storage device can be optimized.
In the innovation project Energy Storage in Gravel and Steel, a new concept for energy storage was tested in mini-scale 1:10 at DTU Risø. Specifically, it is a pile of stones in a steel cylinder, where excess energy from wind turbines and solar plants is stored as heat. From here, the heat can be released as electricity when needed.
It was also examined which of the two materials (gravel or steel) was best suited as a storage unit. The project showed that steel, although it could hold heat better, also had a higher pressure loss. Crushed stones meant better temperature control and less pressure loss, which is why the results pointed to the use of crushed stones. Further experiments showed that the size of the stones – where the fine granite was crushed – also affected the efficiency of the warehouse.
Experiments were also carried out that could contribute to the trade-off between pressure loss and the storage’s ability to absorb heat.
Together with the results of the knowledge brokerage project, thermal energy storage, the results of the innovation project Energy Storage in Gravel were included in the dimensioning of a prototype into a full-scale thermal storage unit, cf. the ongoing Gridscale project, which focuses on full-scale testing and demonstrates the new storage technology.
“Over the years, I have come up with five criteria for us to get 100 percent green power in Denmark: there must be enough of the energy, technology must not destroy the climate, there must not be significant popular resistance, it must be available at a competitive price, and you must be able to get the energy when it is needed. We lacked the last part, but with thermal energy storage, we are getting in place,” says Henrik Stiesdal, CEO of Stiesdal Storage Technologies.
Read more about the project in the media.
Companies and subcontractors in the wind industry use fixation equipment for the production of various hydraulic-related components. The equipment has traditionally been manufactured manually, but 3D printing can be a cheaper and easier way to produce the fixation, among other things when producing a specially designed prototype. Without 3D printing, a subcontractor has to mill new fixs out of a block, which is an expensive process as they have to take a milling machine out of production to do so. With 3D printing, a new fix can be produced at night and ready for use the next morning.
In Denmark, research and development within 3D printing for wind companies has been very much aimed at the production of large components by, for example, blade manufacturers. An innovation project has changed this by giving the participating SMEs a foothold in the commercial use of 3D printing.
In the innovation project, 3D Printed Fixtures, several partners have helped a number of companies incorporate 3D printing as a new technology into the companies’ business models and product portfolios. This was done, among other things, with introduction to new methods and a guideline for 3D printing of fixations, which with the use of 3D printing can now be produced 80 percent cheaper and much faster than by manual production of fixed trips.
Read more about the project in the media
Read more about the project here
Cost reductions drive the development of the wind turbine industry. 3D printing can realize great savings potentials both through time and material in the Danish subcontractors, but it has been a challenge for companies to implement the 3D printing technologies in their production.
Innovationsprojektet 3D Printing for Wind hjalp små og mellemstore virksomheder med at indarbejde 3D-print som en ny teknologi i virksomhedernes forretningsmodeller og produktporteføljer rettet mod vindindustrien.
The innovation project 3D Printing for Wind helped small and medium-sized enterprises incorporate 3D printing as a new technology into the companies’ business models and product portfolios aimed at the wind industry.
Among other things, this was achieved through the development of a guideline for 3D printing, an matrix of material types, print methods and tests and generic business cases for the implementation of 3D printing in production.
“It has been incredibly simple to work with the 3D printers, and the programs and materials are easy to access”, says Anne Mette Lorentzen, Marketing Manager at Hytor, who among other things has focused on printing specially designed tools for wind turbine technicians.
“We see good opportunities for using 3D printing in further cooperation with our customers. Among other things, the new technology allows us to make product adjustments in collaboration with the manufacturer much faster than in the past”, says Anne Mette Lorenzen.
Concrete is a new material within wave power with great potential. Concrete is a cheaper and more flexible material than, for example, steel, which so far has been used in projects with wave energy. Concrete is already used in connection with renewable energy, e.g., as a foundation for offshore wind turbines, but experience and knowledge about the use of concrete in floating structures for wave power has been limited. This applies, for example, to a lack of knowledge about feasibility and costs – a knowledge that is necessary before the development of wave energy plants in concrete can be continued in the energy sector.
With the support of EUDP, the Innovation Project Concrete for Wave Energy has explored opportunities for the use of concrete and developed a new guide that can be used in building future wave power plants. The guide is based on analyses of two concrete wave power plants with different production designs, but both of which use steel. The calculations carried out illustrate that it is possible to produce the two types of plants in concrete instead of steel, thereby reducing both construction and operating costs and making the plants competitive in relation to energy from offshore wind turbines.
The project sets out the possibilities for developing wave power technology to compete with other renewable energies, including the use of reinforced concrete rather than steel structures.
The innovation project can form the basis for future wave power plants, where project partners want to use liquid concrete to reduce costs and extend the life of wave power plants.
Read more about the project in the press
The project was facilitated and administered by Energy Cluster Denmark.
In the international cluster project Inn2Power, 11 cluster partners from Denmark, the UK, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands participated in the collaboration to increase innovation power and access to the wind industry for small and medium-sized enterprises across the North Sea region.
The main result of the project was the development and accreditation of the world’s first and only MBA for the offshore industry. The programme, which was established and developed by Business Academy SydVest, Energy Cluster Denmark and Hochschule Bremerhaven, is created to ensure a qualifying academic management education targeted at wind industry leaders.
The accreditation agency, AQAS, has recognised offshore wind energy MBA with an international accreditation.
From day one, the Offshore Wind Energy MBA programme has benefited from close cooperation with international, recognized companies from the offshore wind industry such as Ørsted, Vattenfall, RWE, Siemens Gamesa, Energi Danmark, Tennet and Ramboll and others. These companies participate in the Advisory Board of Training with the development of modules; provides students with the course and relevant teaching material in the form of cases.
In addition, the Inn2power cluster project developed a number of initiatives, all focusing on improving access for small and medium-sized enterprises to new business opportunities offshore wind industry:
Semco Maritime Vice President Jacob Øbo Sørensen, a member of the Offshore Wind Energy MBA Advisory Board, says he expects the company both to have employees affiliated with the program and to provide cases. “This accreditation confirms that the academic level is strong, and the industry’s engagement ensures that the theory is anchored in practice. That really makes it valuable,” he says.”
Read more about the project in the press
Experience shows that friction-welded components are stronger than other welded components and even in strength surpass fully cast elements.
In the knowledge brokerage project, Friction welded components, research was carried out to improve the welding of components with new technology. Flexibility, stress tests and mathematical models were analysed in several different material combinations, which is new knowledge that benefits companies in the energy cluster.
Installations of offshore wind farms will in future be cheaper, more efficient and safer in the global wind market. These are the tangible benefits of an innovation project under the auspices of Energy Cluster Denmark and especially the Wind Partnership; cooperation between the largest producers in the wind industry, a number of other major players and industry subcontractors.
The various producers in the wind industry previously made different requirements for lifting operations when installing offshore wind turbines. This meant that subcontractors had to manage multiple processes differently – despite the fact that they were largely identical. The different requirements cost subcontractors time and money as training was needed in the individual requirements, and the work on several different lifting operations was also associated with some safety risk.
The partners in the lifting guidelines project gathered experience and defined common standardized requirements for safety and lifting in the wind industry. This means that lifting tasks will in future be carried out in the same way, regardless of whether it is the construction of a wind turbine in one or the other wind turbine project. Overall, common guidelines and standards will streamline lifting tasks, increase safety, reduce defects and damage to equipment and optimize the time spent on tasks and training of personnel. The project has contributed to 10-15% time savings and increased efficiency by the wind industry’s logistics partners.
See the new common guidelines for heavy lifting here:
Read more about the project in the press
There will be damage to the surfaces of wind turbine blades after prolonged operation. The damage occurs especially because raindrops hit the front of the moth blade with great force, since the wings rotate at high speed.
In addition to a slow eroding of the surface, the damage creates noise that can cause great inconvenience to citizens living close to the wind turbine. So far, inspection and repair of damage to wind turbine blades has been done manually, which poses a certain safety risk, is time consuming and associated with high costs.
In the innovation project Leading Edge Repair, a new automated technique has been developed for reviewing and repairing damage to wind turbine fronts. The innovation project has created reduced Lost Time Incident (LTI), increased safety and cost-out for companies working with wind turbine repairs. In addition, less noise means enhanced conditions for “social acceptance”.
Based on the results obtained in the project, calculation models have been developed which provide instructions for good inspection and sustainable repair. Based on the data collected, an intelligent robot has been developed that can replace the manual repairs by carrying out the repairs themselves. It uses data intelligently by focusing on the damage that is most important.
The robot and technology behind it ensure up to 66% cost reduction by more efficient prioritizing the blade cutting edge repair scope. In addition, Lost Time Incident (LTI) has been reduced by 90%-100%, as the partners in the project have largely reduced the need for human business climbers on wind turbines to almost non-existent ones. A job that is otherwise a very risky and physically stressful.
When gas is pumped out of the underground, the gas contains sulfur hydrogen (H2S), which corrosively corrosive the pipes in which the gas is transported. Therefore, operators in the oil and gas industry add the chemical H2S scavenger to remove the sulfur before sending the gas to the refinery. Today, large quantities of H2S scavenger are added to meet the quality requirements of the authorities. Since the amount of sulphur in the gas varies between different wells and as it is difficult to measure the amount of sulphur, H2S scavenger is overuse.
The participants in the innovation project H2SMAN have built, installed and tested a new measurement and dosing system on two offshore oil and gas installations in the Danish part of the North Sea. Among other things, the system consists of a new sensor that makes precise measurements of the level of sulphur in the inflated gas. Data from the sensor is then used to clarify the dosage of H2S scavenger so that the level of sulphur is kept down before the gas is sent to shore. The system thus eliminates the need for environmental and costly overdose of H2S scavenger.
The project’s new technology has created a saving potential for the chemicals of 10-40 percent using the sensor. At the same time, this means a potential saving of 10-20% in the cost of purchasing the expensive chemical. The sensor is commercialized. The Danish operators have already installed the sensor permanently or are planning to do so. During the project, the sensor has been approved under the so-called ATEX Directive, which is a requirement for installing the equipment offshore.
Read more about the project at ECD
Solar-powered rescue ladders with LED lights in 2020 have been installed in the Danish ports by Trygfonden. The rescue ladders light up at night along the handles and sides, so that they can be seen in the dark, thus helping to reduce drowning accidents. The product has been developed with a focus on a Danish harbour environment, but the inquiries were many especially in the Nordic region. Previous rescue ladders, which have also been powered by solar cells, have so far not worked reliably throughout the year due to different lighting conditions at different locations.
In the innovation project, ISR, several partners have jointly developed and tested a new prototype for a rescue ladder that can function efficiently under lower lighting conditions. In addition, the project has further developed the ladder and added a system that monitors the condition of the ladder and an associated wireless communication module for monitoring and communication with the ladder, which also works over long distances. Instead of creating a written installation guide that can never be complete anyway, the project has realized an installation guide as an app for the phone that can ensure proper installation of the rescue ladders based on simulation of the solar radiation in the given area, the ladder is desired installed and through knowledge of the energy consumption of the ladder, the location can be qualified.
The project has achieved a saving of 10-20% in relation to the need for electricity grid coupling as well as lower maintenance and inspection costs.
LED info-screens are used all over the world as advertising and information columns – both indoors and outdoors. The screens provide high image quality and can be controlled from afar using technical web-based control systems. However, the use of the screens is very power-intensive. The problem with the screens is that they have a poor contrast in daylight if you do not turn up the intensity, and it requires a lot of power.
The innovation project eInfoSys has developed a new generation of energy efficient and power-saving LED displays. The new generation is based on a new display technology and operating system to power the screens. The new technology and control system make it possible to receive information about wind and weather conditions and regulate the frequency and control of LEDs. Together with adaptive image signal processing, it provides better image reproduction and optimized power consumption.
The solution has been tested and analyzed both digitally and physically and has shown a significant power saving of 30-60% without impaired image quality in daylight and direct sunlight.
The developed solutions are fully developed and put into production and are today ViewNet’s primary performance display products. The market has welcomed the solution as the price has not significantly increased.
“We have gained a significant advantage for our competitors, and in several areas we have developed a product that sets the bar. Right now, we have a two-year head start on the rest of the market.”
So, for Lars Dalvig, CEO of the Sønderborg company ViewNet Systems, which develops LED screens for the public space, the scorecard has improved the competition.
LED displays have a wealth of applications and ever-increasing prevalence. Viewnet System has, among other things, delivered the Danish Parliament’s LED big screen, which shows the votes cast; supplied advertising screens to City Hall Square and provided gas stations across the country with pylons showing the price of diesel and gasoline. And from now on, ViewNet has an even better product under your arm:
“We saw an opportunity to differentiate ourselves on an LED screen that used less power. We have succeeded. We have developed both a new screen and a new algorithm, and overall the gain is significant – you save up to 60 percent on energy consumption”, says Lars Dalvig.
The Knowledge Brokerage Project, Conductor Sensor Technology focuses on validating a new sensor technology, which aims to detect faults in the lightning conductors that are part of wind turbine blades today, without the need to inspect turbine blades to find the fault.
There is currently no product on the market that, on the one hand, can measure low power output in normal operation on a wind turbine, and at the same time survive a very high power release, such as by a lightning strike on a wind turbine.
The purpose of the knowledge brokerage project was to investigate whether the sensor technology can be validated, thus helping to help wind farm owners repair a faulty lightning conductor as soon as the fault is observed by the new sensor, thus avoiding repairing any damage to the wind turbine after a lightning strike.
The results of the knowledge project showed that Jomitek’s equipment is capable of detecting changes in the flow of electrical voltage conductors during operation.
Inspection of wind turbine blades for damage caused was previously concentrated on visible damage to the wing surface, while there were not enough good methods of inspection for invisible damage, which can often have a greater impact on the life of the blade. The innovation project EWIC has developed an inspection method based on advanced camera technology – also known as endoscopy. The method is similar to the binocular examinations used in the health sector to investigate for internal disorders that can develop into serious health problems.
Damage in wind turbine blades often occurs in glue joints inside the blade, from which the damage spreads. With the camera technique from the EWIC project, the damage can be detected earlier, which makes it possible to repair the damage in time and extend the life of the blade.
In the innovation project, a new manual for the application of the inspection method has been prepared, which has contributed to the fact that camera technology is today a widely used tool. This has contributed decisively to reducing the cost of inspecting wind turbine blades and thus also extending the life of wind turbine blades.