Photo: Tractebel Overdick

Tractebel develops new floating wind, large-scale hydrogen production platforms

Tractebel Overdick has developed a new floating wind foundation concept for 15+ MW wind turbines with a “hydrogen ready” option, and an offshore hydrogen production platform which can utilise the potential of large-scale offshore wind farms at an industrial scale of up to 800 MW.

The new floater design is said to have been optimised to reduce the overall costs of the floating foundation, through all major fabrication, installation, and operational aspects.

In the case of the new hydrogen platform, the company has also highlighted that the new design – for which the system configuration and platform layout have been optimised based on the company’s previous design for a 400 MW system – can now lead to an overall cost reduction and competitive levelized cost of hydrogen.

The floating wind foundation, based on triangular arrangement of the main load carrying members, does not require any moving parts or wires, thus reducing risks and allowing for easier transport and installation operations, according to Tractebel Overdick. Moreover, the floater can be fabricated without using large heavy lift cranes or similar infrastructure, which might not be available in remote areas of the world.

An image rendering Tractebel floating wind platform
Tractebel Overdick

The structure provides stable floating conditions with the maximum possible wind turbine capacity installed, starting with a minimum draft of 10 metres, and the final draft and operating condition achieved by only ballasting the floater.

In addition, the concept offers sufficient deck and sheltered areas to install modularized add-on packages. This makes the floater “hydrogen ready”, with hydrogen production modules and exporting equipment easily added, and compartments of the floater used as buffering tanks.

“Alternative modules such as hydrogen field supply and bunkering or HV export modules may further be considered to make the future floating offshore wind farm more versatile”, Tractebel Overdick said.

The company has also introduced a new hydrogen platform that is an upgraded and optimised version of its 400 MW offshore production platform, announced in October 2019.

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The new model will enable the enormous potential of large-scale offshore wind farms, such as those in the German North Sea, to be used at an industrial scale of up to 800 MW, with the platform featuring all the technical components required for the production of “green” hydrogen, according to the company. This includes the electrolysis units and transformers for the transformation of the electricity supplied by the offshore wind turbines, along with desalination modules for producing the high-purity water required for electrolysis.

For the new design, the engineering team at Tractebel optimised the equipment arrangement in conjunction with the system definition and reduced the overall topside volume by more than 25 per cent. Furthermore, a concept allowing for an effortless upscaling of the platform was implemented, so the platform can be used for large-scale offshore hydrogen production in the range of 100 MW to 800 MW.