Project developing new floating structures for offshore renewables gets €2.5M grant

Project developing new floating structures for offshore renewables gets €2.5M grant

The WECHULL+ project has received a €2.5 million grant to develop new floating structures of high-performance concrete expected to reduce cost and CO2 footprint and improve circularity and reliability in the offshore renewable energy sector.

Ocean Harvesting’s buoy with thin-walled honeycomb structure of high-performance concrete and EPS cores

The WECHULL+ project received the grant from the EU Clean Energy Transition Partnership (CETP) program to develop novel floating structures based on high-performance concrete and Ocean Harvesting’s buoy design.

According to Ocean Harvesting, concrete structures are low cost, resistant to the marine environment, and easy and fast to manufacture on-site (casting), in comparison to the manufacturing of traditional steel structures.

The solutions developed in the WECHULL+ project regarding material, modelling and design will be applicable for floating structures in ocean renewables and other areas.

“Reducing the use of resources and the environmental impact are critical in the energy transition,” said Mikael Sidenmark, CEO of Ocean Harvesting Technology. “We are very pleased that our honeycomb design for floating structures will also be tested by other ocean energy developers in sea trials, and we look forward to this collaboration.”

WECHULL+ is based on the results and proof-of-concept from the previous WECHULL project where a new, highly flowable high-performance concrete mix was developed for Ocean Harvesting’s patented thin-walled honeycomb buoy. 

The solution is said to enable large-scale production on-site and results in a buoy with a weight similar to a conventional steel hull, but at four times the lower cost, three times the lower CO2 footprint and ten times faster to manufacture.

The three-year project, starting this month, is delivered by a European consortium with the Research Institute of Sweden (RISE) leading it. Project partners are Delft University of Technology (Netherlands), Ocean Harvesting Technologies (Sweden), Gdansk University of Technology (Poland), SolarDuck (Netherlands), Plataforma Oceánica de Canarias (Spain), Pekebex (Poland) alongside representation from CWEI.

CETO Wave Energy Ireland (CWEI), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Carnegie Clean Energy, recently secured €45,238 in funding to participate as an industry partner in the project.

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