Industry unchains marine renewables mooring approach

A team of nine European companies and organisations has been working on testing and qualifying new synthetic mooring components as a cost-effective solution compared to chain-based mooring systems for marine renewable devices.

All synthetic mooring system (Image: Tension Technology International)

After being tested, nylon has been qualified for permanent application and has confirmed its cost-saving potential, according to the project partners, who also developed textiles gravity anchor bags that will offer a cost-saving solution in anchoring tidal power systems.

The use of nylon can be considered as a cost-effective solution in shallower water depths, according to the European joint industry project (JIP), composed of Tension Technology International (project leader and expert in synthetic rope development and testing), the rope manufacturer Bridon International, Ideol, Bluewater Energy Services (bringing an end-user perspective in floating tidal), DNV-GL and Lloyd’s Register (LR), which has been set up for qualifying nylon via a rope testing programme so that it can be deployed safely and certified for permanent moorings.

A synthetic bag anchoring system (Image: Tension Technology International)

As part of this JIP, textiles gravity anchor bags have been developed in partnership with Vryhof and TenCate, with sea trials conducted by University of Exeter. These will be a cost-effective option for umbilical system stabilization in wind, as well as offering a solution in anchor tidal power applications and other marine energy devices which face challenges of seabed anchoring, the companies behind the project said.

The project is funded by the Scottish Government and administered by the Carbon Trust, under the Marine Renewables Commercialisation Fund (MRCF).