Offshore Wind Turbine Transportation & Installation Analyses Planning Optimal Marine Operations for Offshore Wind Projects
Transportation and installation of offshore wind turbines (Tower, Nacelle and Rotor) is a complete process conducted over several phases, usually in sequence. There are several factors that can turn this process into a challenge. These factors can either be due to offshore site conditions or the technical limitations of the installation vessels. Each project has its own characteristic parameters and requires a unique optimum solution. This paper identifies the dynamics of the installation process and analyzes the effects of each phase on the progression of events.The challenges in wind turbine installations due to offshore environment were investigated, the effects of each were explained and their significances were stressed. Special installation vessels were examined and their technical specifications were analyzed in terms of working conditions, dimensions, service performances, and crane capacities as well as projecting future design trends. Several offshore wind farm projects were analyzed; their installation methods were specified, and compared to each other to determine advantages and disadvantages of different pre-assembly concepts. The durations of the sub-phases of the process were defined in terms of different variables such as site conditions and individual vessel performance. These definitions were used for making time estimations, and conducting further analyses regarding the effects of different site specific parameters on the overall project duration.In conclusion, this study considered the main operation parameters in an offshore wind turbine installation context: the benefits and drawbacks of different pre-assembly methods were researched and evaluated resulting in new knowledge and a productive contribution for optimizing “the offshore turbine transportation and installation process”, based on actual time usage.
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