RAMBØLL raises the stakes with offshore wind turbine foundations
Establishes a new division in Esbjerg, to be Denmark's leader
All over the world the need for alternative energy is gaining momentum.
RAMBØLL aims to capitalise on this fact in establishing, as Denmark's
first consulting company, a completely new division for Offshore Wind
Turbine Foundations. Everyone knows about wind turbines at sea. But
there is a difference between wind turbines sited in shallow water of
depths from 4 to 8 metres and those in deep water of 20-25 metres or
more. The division's area of expertise is precisely in large
constructions for offshore use and derives from RAMBØLL's 25 years of
experience in platform construction for the oil and gas industries.
"Accomplishing wind turbine construction in such great depths of water
calls for very special techniques, and it is now apparent that RAMBØLL
is one of the few North European consulting companies with the expertise
which the industry requires," explains Kai B. Olsen, RAMBØLL's head of
division. RAMBØLL's experience covers, amongst other areas, offshore
development, planning, transport and installation analyses of the large
steel structures, which constitute the foundations for wind turbines.
RAMBØLL started undertaking projects of this kind in the late 1970s, and
its expertise and experience are still very much in demand.
"We're recruiting at least 5 highly experienced employees from our old
offshore platform construction division. Furthermore, we'll be hiring as
many engineers as it takes over the next year, and we expect to get them
from the Technical University of Denmark or the University of Aalborg,"
says Kai B. Olsen.
Cheaper and more consistent
In order to make electricity production cheaper and more consistent, the
trend is now for offshore solutions, since the wind blows longer and
stronger at sea. At the same time, the size of wind turbines can be
increased dramatically, without causing visual and noise distress to
Some countries, including Denmark, have more or less fully developed
their capacity in terms of viable land-based wind parks. Continuing
development offshore affords obvious and very significant potentials,
which we are now ready to exploit.
Programs for calculating dynamic effects
Before erecting offshore wind turbines, many advanced calculations have
to be performed to make sure that the wind turbine can stand for at
least 20-25 years. RAMBØLL was one of the first consulting companies to
develop a program for analysing the combined effects of wind and waves.
This allows the wind turbine's dynamics to be scrutinised and its
lifetime to be calculated.
The need for such analyses is dictated by the fact that wind turbines
are now sited in much deeper water than previously. In Germany, many
mega-projects comprising many hundreds of wind turbines are being
contemplated, with wind turbines sited beyond the 12 nautical mile
limit. Here the depth of water will typically be at least 30-35 metres.
Thus, the power of the sea becomes a very significant factor in the
design of the wind turbine foundations. It is at precisely these depths
of water that RAMBØLL has such great experience and expertise.
Kai B. Olsen, Head of Division, +45 7913 7120
Bettina Cronquist, Press Officer, +45 2342 5624