The FORCENSE™ monitoring system ensures that offshore wind installations operate at peak performance despite harsh marine conditions. “Our solution prolongs the life of offshore wind farms. We are lowering energy costs and increasing the competitiveness of this exciting renewable energy source,” says Skule Edvard Smørgrav of FORCE Technology Norway.
Offshore wind farms are a reliable source of green energy thanks to the strong, steady wind at sea.
“Offshore wind is the most promising new source of renewable and sustainable energy, and arguably the one with the highest potential for worldwide application,” says Smørgrav.
Unlike most other green energy, though, the offshore wind industry must contend with harsh marine conditions. Wind turbines are continually battered by strong wind, salt, waves and currents that take a toll on the installations. To ensure offshore wind is viable for years to come, the industry needs to stay competitive vis-à-vis other energy sources. This requires solutions that optimise operations, lower expenses and extend the life of the costly installations.
The FORCENSE™ monitoring system provides wind farm operators with 100 per cent surveillance of all the forces that offshore installations are exposed to. The solution can be used for both floating and bottom-fixed wind farms. The standard package consists of sensors placed on the wind turbine tower and foundation. The sensors capture the most common eigenmode vibrations and the influences of wind, currents and waves on the structure.
But the FORCENSE solution goes far beyond basic monitoring.
“Most companies only offer monitoring technology, but we have structural design and analysis competence as well,” Smørgrav explains. “We can take the data collected and build a calibrated structural model, known as a digital twin. From this model we can infer structural damage and fatigue loads over time, among other factors.”
FORCENSE™ helps wind farm operators to optimise inspection and maintenance. Damage, for example, can be detected early on and addressed quickly, ultimately prolonging the life of the wind farm. Automatic data processing and digital twin capability improve decision-making as well.
With the FORCENSE solution, wind farms can reduce both operating expenses (OPEX) and the levelized cost of energy (LCOE), which is the industry’s measure of competitiveness.
“If we can make the LCOE better, then energy from offshore wind will become even more desirable to consumers. Most people want the cheapest energy they can get,” says Smørgrav.
Offshore wind technology continues to spread across the globe. Europe remains the largest market, but momentum is building in the Americas, the Asia–Pacific region and China. Investments in offshore wind are expected to surpass USD 306 billion between 2021 and 2025.
The FORCENSE™ monitoring system has been developed by FORCE Technology, which has 30 years of experience in offshore installations from the oil and gas and wind power industries.
“Now that the world is waking up to the unsustainability of the oil and gas industry, FORCE Technology Norway is well on its way to making the world not only bluer, but greener through wind power,” says Smørgrav.