The Spanish engineering firm Saitec today announced the start of its BlueSATH project, which consists of the installation of a floating marine platform, at scale, in the Abra del Sardinero, off the coast of Santander (Cantabria). The assembly works will take place during the first quarter of 2020. The platform will house a 1:6 scale prototype of a ten megawatt (10 MW) wind turbine. The test, under real conditions, will last 12 months, after which it will be completely dismantled.
SATH floating platform technology, an acronym for Swinging Around Twin Hull, has already been validated in numerous tank trials (since 2014) and is presented by Saitec as “an innovative, competitive and efficient solution for floating offshore wind”. Now, the main objectives of this new step in the BlueSATH development process are (1) “the validation of the dynamic behavior of the SATH platform and (2) the analysis of its environmental impact”. To this end, Saitec engineers will study the different areas affected during construction, installation and operation: carbon footprint, aquatic environment, waste, etc. Likewise, they will compare and validate the numerical models of the previous phase of detailed engineering “in order to obtain models that allow a final optimization of the structure, reducing costs and verifying the structural integrity of the wind turbine”.
On the other hand, Saitec aims to “identify the variables that best predict damage to the different elements of the structure, so that its useful life can be predicted through a series of sensors”. In addition, the Spanish engineering also proposes to “identify the possible challenges and risks derived from the logistics and transport of the demonstrator from the manufacturing/assembly location to its final operation location”. Regarding the operation and maintenance of the floating wind turbine, “the necessary operations will be established to ensure optimum operation thanks to the platform’s accessibility system”.
The Abra del Sardinero, on the Cantabrian coast, has been the site selected for BlueSATH due to its metoceanic conditions (wind, waves, currents and depth). According to Saitec, this is “an ideal location to offer protection against the severe storms of the Northwest thanks to the presence of the Cabo Mayor, which manages to greatly mitigate the heights of wave incidents in the interior of the Bay; this gives rise to a real environment with climbing conditions and suitable for this test.
The conclusions obtained will be used for the following full-scale model (two megawatts, 2 MW), which will be installed on the Basque marine energy platform (Bimep) from 2021.
Participation of Cantabrian companies
75% of the subcontracting budget -informa Saitec- has been allocated to companies in the region and has counted with the participation of members of the Cluster Seas of Innovation Cantabria such as the Port of Santander, IHCantabria, Degima, Astander and Acorde. According to the Spanish engineering, “this project is key because it will allow us to continue developing renewable energies, contributing to achieving a clear improvement in the global objectives of sustainability through the use of wind at greater depths to generate energy”.
What is Saitec Engineering?
Founded in 1988, Saitec is a Spanish engineering company that provides “consultancy services -explains its company profile- from a position of professional independence, with a strong innovative vocation and a firm commitment to sustainable development and respect for the environment”. Its main activity is related to the development of transport infrastructure projects (railways, roads), water engineering, architecture, urbanism, environment, industry and energy. Its scope extends to the entire engineering value chain (planning, design, construction and operation). Saitec provides its services both to Public Administration clients and to private companies and joint ventures. At the same time, Saitec provides consultancy services in highly specialised areas, such as tunnels, geology and geotechnics, structures, innovation, construction and computer engineering. It currently has a presence in the United Kingdom, Sweden, Catar, Australia, Panama, Peru and Colombia. Its BlueSATH project will be presented tomorrow at the large European wind energy fair-congress, WindEurope, held in Copenhagen on 26, 27 and 28 November.