DeepResource

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Archive for the category “wind”

Sif – The Wind Tower Company

In February 2015 Port of Rotterdam and Sif Group met during an exhibition in Hamburg. In June of that year the two parties signed a contract for the construction of the 500 meter long assembly- and the 120 meter long coatinghall from Sif.

October 24, 2015 the first pile of the hall and in April 2016 the first pile of the deep sea quay was driven into the ground. The construction of the halls went smooth so the first cans and cones from Roermond were delivered in September for assembly. In December, the 200 meter deep deepsea quay was finished and in January 2017 the first load-out of monopiles took place.

Thanks to the excellent cooperation between the Port of Rotterdam and Sif Group we realized a new production facility in just 14 months. Through this production expansion Sif is perfectly equipped to produce 4-5 monopiles per week with a diameter up to 11 meters.

That would be 5 x 6 MW = 30 MW per week or 1.5 GW per year or 50 GW until 2050, when Europe needs to be fossil free. Companies like Sif exist in Germany, Denmark and Spain, see below for an overview of the European (=global) offshore wind foundation industry.

Current Dutch electricity production capacity is 28,7 GW. Assuming a capacity factor of 50% of North Sea offshore wind, this current Sif production capacity would suffice to achieve electricity independence for The Netherlands in 2050. The European monopile market in 2015 was 385 and 560 in 2016. In 2018, Sif alone will be able to produce ca. 250 monopiles. It is likely however that Sif will continue to expand far beyond that number in the coming years.

[sif-group.com] – Company site [Google Maps]
[energieoverheid.nl] – Nederland heeft voorlopig genoeg elektriciteit beschikbaar
[sif-group.com] – De razendsnelle realisatie van Sif op de Maasvlakte 2
[ewea.org] – The European offshore wind industry – key trends and statistics 2015
[windeurope.org] – The European offshore wind industry 2016
[tube-tradefair.com] – FA 07 Monopiles – gigantic pipes for offshore wind farms

European offshore foundation market 2016

References to the producers listed in the diagram according to production capacity:

[de.wikipedia.org] – Erndtebrücker Eisenwerk, Erndtebrück, Germany [Google Maps]
[steelwind-nordenham.de] – Steelwind Nordenham, Germany [Google Maps]
[ambau.com] – Ambau, Mellensee, Germany [Google Maps]
[bladt.dk] – Bladt Industries, Aalborg, Denmark [Google Maps]
[navantia.es] – Navantia, Ría de Ferrol, Spain [Google Maps]

Read more…

Lowering Maintenance Cost – Energy Islands in the North Sea

On March 23, 2017 an agreement was signed for the development of an artificial energy island in the middle of the North Sea intended to ease maintenance effort to keep potentially tens of thousands of offshore wind turbines running and to distribute power to neighboring countries.


Energy Island to be built in the Dutch part of the Doggersbank. Because of Brexit, Britain is an unlikely candidate to host this island and in case of a hard-Brexit will go it alone anyway.

[independent.co.uk] – North Sea island: Danish, Dutch and German firms launch bid
[tennet.eu] – European Operators to develop North Sea Wind Power Hub
[arstechnica.com] – North Sea: A giant wind farm to power all of north Europe
[deingenieur.nl] – Gigantisch Stopcontact op Eiland Doggersbank

World’s First Offshore Windfarm Vindeby Decommissioned

Reason decommissioning: end of economic life
Installation date: 1991
Decommissioning date: March 2017
Turbines: 11 of 450 kW
Water depth: 4 m
Capacity factor: 22.1%
Installation cost: 10 million euro
Cumulative lifetime power: 243 GWh
Danish electricity price consumers: 30 cent/kWh
Turnover consumer price: 79 million euro

The capacity factor was extremely low. More recent Danish offshore wind farm typically have an average capacity factor of 41.5%

[wikipedia.org] – Vindeby Offshore Wind Farm
[Google Maps] – Vindeby, Denmark
[energynumbers.info] – Capacity factors at Danish offshore wind farms
[deepresource] – Nuon Dismantles Offshore Wind Farm in the Netherlands

Schiphol Airport to Run on 100% Renewable Energy in 2018

[source] Amsterdam Airport is the home of KLM

It all began with Dutch Rail, but now Schiphol Airport near Amsterdam wil also run entirely on renewable electricity as of 2018. For that purpose the energy producer Eneco for the next 15 years will deliver 200 GWh annually to Schiphol (64m), the third airport in Europe after London (76m) and Paris (66m) in terms of passengers and surpassed Frankfurt (61m) last year. The electricity will be entirely sourced from ‘Hollandse wind’.

The amount of electricity equals the consumption of a town like Delft (100,000) and will mostly be used for cooling and airconditioning. With 64 million passengers annually, each producing 120 Watt (or 150 Watt if the suitcase is very heavy) at a temperature level of 37 Celsius, there is very little need for space heating. Where Dutch Rail invested in 8 windparks all over Europe, Schiphol will be provided with electricity from new Dutch wind parks only.

Comment: this is exactly what you want to see happening, major top notch companies setting the tone in the energy debate. After Dutch Rail, Schiphol is yet another Dutch company that switches to 100% renewable energy for its (on-the-ground) operations. Expect other major companies not wanting to stay behind and provide themselves with a “green image” as well, creating a run on renewable energy.

This creates a new “problem”: there is not enough supply of renewable energy. However this “corporate green pull” will greatly stimulate offshore installation companies to expand their businesses, backed by fat, multi-year contracts with large companies, eager to show the world how green they are.

[schiphol.nl] – Royal Schiphol Group draait vanaf 2018 volledig op Hollandse wind
[parool.nl] – Schiphol stapt volledig over op Nederlandse windenergie
[wikipedia.org] – List of the busiest airports in Europe
[nos.nl] – Schiphol nu derde luchthaven van Europa
[deepresource] – Contracts Signed for 752 MW Offshore Wind of Dutch Coast
[deepresource] – Dutch Rail Runs 100% on Wind Power
[deepresource] – 100+ Companies Committed to Corporate Renewable Energy
[deepresource] – Electric Flying

North Sea Offshore Wind Hubs

Port of Esbjerg in Jutland, Denmark. [deepresource] – Wind Hub Esbjerg

[4coffshore.com] – Ports in NW-Europe with offshore wind facilities

Inventory of North Sea ports that function as hubs in the offshore wind construction boom. Esbjerg in Denmark is no doubt the #1 in scale. Other important hubs in no particular order:

Port of Grenaa, Denmark.

Orange Blue Terminal, Eemshaven in The Netherlands.

BOW-terminal Vlissingen, The Netherlands.

Offshore Wind Port Bremerhaven in Germany.

Cuxhaven, Germany offshore terminal

Rotterdam Princess Alexiahaven, Offshore Wind Center, The Netherlands. Currently under construction and expected to be completed in two years time.

Oostende, Belgium

Wilhelmshaven, Germany

Harwich, England

Ramsgate, England

Green Port Hull, England. Major Siemens investment under construction. All in one: windturbine construction and installation.

Dundee, Scotland offshore wind port under construction.

Great Yarmouth, Peel Ports.

3 x 1.2 GW Wind Parks to be Built in Spain and Britain

[source] La Mancha, Don Quixote and Windmills. Nobody fighting the Spanish wind mills this time around.

The wind is blowing in the right direction for the European wind industry these days. 3 giant 1.2 GW wind projects have been given the green light, one Spanish onshore in North-East Aragon and two offshore in the North Sea off the coast of England: Hornsea I and East Anglia III, the first with 7MW Siemens wind turbines. The British projects are supposed to be completed by 2020 and 2025 respectively.

[wikipedia.org] – Hornsea Wind Farm
[wikipedia.org] – East Anglia Array
[reuters.com] – ScottishPower Renewables gets planning approval for 1.2 GW offshore windfarm
[genewsroom.com] – Forestalia Selects GE Renewable Energy to Provide 1.2 GW Wind Power in the Largest European Auction to Date
[renewablesnow.com] – Dong makes final investment decision on 1.2-GW wind project off UK
[ge.com] – Generation Next: Wind Already More Powerful Than All Nuclear Plants Combined

Sandbank Offshore Wind Farm Cabling

After the wind tower monopiles are installed, they need to be connected with cables. In the video it is done by offshore wind cabling market leader VBMS.

[vbms.com] – VBMS (VolkerWessels Boskalis Marine Solutions), Papendrecht, the Netherlands
[vattenfall.com] – Offshore Wind Farm Sandbank
[4coffshore.com] – Sandbank Offshore Wind Farm

2-B Energy – Back To Two Blades

3-blade turbines have become the standard in present day wind energy development. The Dutch company 2-B Energy argues that for offshore, wind 2-blades could perhaps be a better design. First of all from a maintenance perspective: in case of a defect, nacelle and rotor can be lifted from the tower in one piece and brought to a maintenance location, onshore or nearby offshore. Furthermore the company claims to be able to realize lower production costs. A first 2-b wind turbine has meanwhile been installed in Eemshaven, in the North of the Netherlands, see video below. Installation rotor downwind and able to rotate freely around a vertical axis, ensuring automatic direction towards an orientation perpendicular to the wind flow. Dimension nacelle 17 m, large enough for a helicopter to be able to land on top of it. Gain: less material, easier maintenance. 2-B Energy is participating in the Methil offshore project off the coast of Scotland.

[2benergy.com] – Company site
[offshorewind.biz] – Forthwind Cleared to Install Two-Bladed Turbine Duo off Scotland
[wikipedia.org] – Methil Offshore Wind Farm

At [1:33] you can see the test-installation of the 2-B wind turbine in Eemshaven. Visually it is not a very attractive installation, but it is intended for offshore operation anyway.

2 GW Windfarm to be Built in Oklohoma (in a Red State!)

[source] 350-mile dedicated power line will connect a substation at the wind farm with a substation near Tulsa to deliver the wind energy to customers.

Will be the largest in the US and 2nd largest in the world. Invenergy will cooperate with General Electric on The Wind Catcher project and install 800 GE 2.5 MW turbines. Operational mid-2020. Cost: $4.5 billion, including 350 miles of dedicated, extra-high-voltage power lines.

[invenergyllc.com] – Invenergy and GE Renewable Energy Announce America’s Largest Wind Farm

“The answer my friend is blowin in the wind”

EROI of Offshore Wind

There is a lot of confusion about the real value of the EROI of wind energy. Time for a back-of-an-envelope calculation.

By far the largest energy input in the construction of a wind turbine from iron ore is realized in the steel mill. How much energy does it take to produce 1 ton of steel? Here is an old Dutch study (1986) from the Energie Centrum Nederland:

[ecn.nl] – Energy Consumption For Steel Production

On p20 we see that the lowest value for steel production is ca 20 GJ/ton or 5555 kWh/ton. We can safely assume that in 2017 the amount of energy required is lower, but we will accept this figure anyway to be on the prudent conservative side.

A 6 MW offshore wind turbine has roughly the following weight distribution:

Part Weight [ton]
monopile 2200
tower 650
nacelle 350
Total 3300

Energy cost for the steel production: 3300 * 5555 = 18331500 kWh
In the North Sea this 6 MW wind turbine on average produces 144,000 kWh/day, see:

[deepresource] – Gold Mine North Sea

Payback time in energy terms therefore is: 18331500/144000 = 127 days

There are of course extra energy costs. Say you need to get the iron ore from Australia, the worst case in transport energy terms, from a Dutch perspective.

[withouthotair.com] – Sustainable Energy – without the hot air, David JC MacKay

This source claims a shipping transport cost for dry cargo: 0.08 kWh/ton-km

Australia-Rotterdam = 20,000 km, in other words: 1600 kWh/ton. Or 3300 * 1600 = 5280000 kWh for the entire wind turbine. Divide it again by the daily energy production of 144,000 kWh of our 6 MW turbine to arrive at 37 days extra work for the wind turbine to earn itself back.

Total energy payback time: 127 + 37 = 164 days.

In other words: the offshore wind turbine must work for less than half a year to “earn” itself back in energy terms.

The remaining items like rotor (3 * 25 ton), construction of the gear, generator, maritime handling, installation, etc, have far smaller energy cost. Add a 22 days (wet finger in the air) to conveniently arrive at exactly half a year.

Things get even better if it is realized that these days about 1/3 of the world’s steel production comes from scrap metal, which requires far less energy to turn into new steel than iron ore. If in the future the windturbine has arrived at end-of-life, you can reuse the steel of the old turbine. You don’t have to get the iron from Australia anymore and recycling of steel costs far less in energy terms than producing steel from ore.

Summarizing: assuming a very conservative [*] life cycle of 30 years for the turbine, EROI for our offshore 6 MW wind turbine is therefore 30/0.5 = 60 or higher.

[*] The Eiffel tower is around since 1887 or 130 years. Experts estimate that the tower can easily survive another 300 years. Likewise it is absurd to assume that an offshore wind tower will fall over after 30 years.

P.S. After writing this post we discovered this calculation by Jan-Pieter den Hollander:

[duurzaamgebouwd.nl] – Energiebalans van een windmolen

Embodied energy

Onshore wind turbine: 0,6MW, height = 50 m, rotor diameter = 40 m

Part Energy in GJ
Production 1900
Installation 495
Maintenance (20 year) 774
Total 3169

Generated energy

Energy yield per year: 5015 GJ
Energy payback time: 7-8 months

In essence a comparable value to ours. In the example of Jan-Pieter den Hollander we are dealing with an onshore machine with less yield than offshore. Although it must be said that in his calculation there are counter-intuitive high values for installation and maintenance. Perhaps we will update this post in the future to have look at those.

Offshore Wind in Japan

Youtube text: “A number of projects are under way around Japan’s coast to develop offshore wind power Japan has developed an advanced form of this platform that it expects will create demand in the rest of the world.

Sandbank Offshore Wind Farm Inaugurated

Map with all German offshore wind farms, planned, under construction or realized. Click to enlarge.

Swedish company Vattenfall completed the installation of the Sandbank offshore wind farm in the German part of the North Sea. The plant went operational on July 23. 288 MW worth of wind power was installed with 72 Siemens turbines. A Munich-based utility company Stadtwerke München also participated (49%). Investment volume 1.2 billion euro.

[vattenfall.com] – Offshore wind farm Sandbank now officially inaugurated
[4coffshore.com] – Sandbank Offshore Wind Farm

Scotlands Generates 124% Wind Electricity Jan-Jun-2017

Statoil of Norway busy constructing floating wind turbines for the Scottish Hywind projects.

Scotland makes impressive progress with installing renewable power. During the first half of 2017 124% of Scotland’s electricity needs were met from wind power alone. According to a report, Scotland could be fossil-free by 2030.

[cleantechnica.com] – Wind Power = 124% of Scotland’s Home Electricity Needs January–June 2017
[theguardian.com] – Scotland could be fossil fuel-free by 2030, says report

Offshore Wind Impressions

Read more…

Trucks on H2 Generated by Wind turbines in the Netherlands

In the Dutch province of North-Holland next year several trucks will drive on hydrogen generated by dedicated onshore and offshore wind turbines, equipped with electrolysis devices. Project name DUWAAL. Hydrogen will be piped to the shore for that purpose. Eventually at least 100 trucks should drive on hydrogen from this pipeline network.

One of the participants is E-Trucks Europe. The company reconfigures existing trucks to electric trucks based on a hydrogen fuel cel. E-Trucks Europe has begun to build two dedicated factories in Westerhoven and Lommel (Belgium).

[truckstar.nl] – Per 2018 vrachtwagens op waterstof uit windmolens
[thebluedeal.nl] – Diverse doorbraken: nu 4 projecten die er echt voor gaan
[wijnoordholland.nl] – Vrachttransport op H2 in 2018 mogelijk door inzet windmolens
[ecn.nl] – Vrachttransport op waterstof eind 2018 mogelijk door inzet windmolens
[e-truckseurope.com] – E-Trucks Europe site

Contracts Signed for 752 MW Offshore Wind of Dutch Coast

Ding-dong! The contracts to build the largest offshore windfarm in the world (surpassing London Array of 630 MW) are signed and the winners are DONG Energy of Denmark and its subcontractor Siemens-Gamesa. Together they will build the Borssele 1&2 wind offshore farms, 22 km off the coast of the Netherlands, together 752 MW. New is that 8 MW turbines will be installed, 94 of them. The windpark should be operational by 2020.

Shell btw is to build Borssele 3&4, another 680 MW.

By 2023 4.5 GW is planned to be installed in the Dutch part of the North Sea.

Longer term Dutch offshore wind plans: 17 GW

[cleantechnica.com] – DONG Energy Signs 752 MW Wind Turbine Supply Agreement With Siemens Gamesa For Borssele 1 & 2
[wikipedia.org] – List of offshore wind farms
[nl.wikipedia.org] – Windpark Borssele
[deepresource] – The Enormous Energy Potential of the North Sea

Wind Turbine Designers Want to Learn From Owls

Scientists in Japan and China have studied Owls in an effort to reduce noise coming from wind turbines. Owls are particularly quiet when they sneak on their preys and being silent is a key ingredient of success. The same can be said of governments if they want to place wind turbines near the urban environment: turbines need to be quiet if they are to be accepted and hence successful.

[ioppublishing.org] – Owls’ wings could hold the key to beating wind turbine noise

Solar Fuel

The great advantage of fossil fuels is its storage aspect. It will wait patiently in a tank until somebody needs the energy and decides to burn it. With wind and solar no such luck. For this reason some researchers try to combine the advantages of solar and fossil fuel. Enter solar fuel. The most obvious source of solar fuel is biomass, created from water, oxygen and sunlight, producing sugars with enzymes as catalysts. The essence of solar fuel research consists in circumventing natural processes occurring in plants and create fuel in a more direct way. Solar light is converted into chemicals, using water, oxygen and CO2 as “base materials” and adding some catalyst(s) to speed things up, c.q. enable the process.

Solar fuels are carbon neutral in the sense that they recycle CO2 from the atmosphere before they are released again into the atmosphere.

Solar fuel production methods can be either direct (H2) or indirect (biomass).

Direct solar fuel production. TiO2 photocatalyst for water splitting. H2 bubbles are generated from the catalyst surface only by sunlight irradiation.

[wikipedia.org] – Solar fuel
[renewableenergyworld.com] – Solar Fuels: How Close, How Real?
[greentechmedia.com] – The Wild and (Potentially) Wonderful World of Solar Fuels
[sciencedaily.com] – How solar energy can be transformed into fuel
[iflscience.com] – Solar Fuels: How Planes And Cars Could Be Powered By The Sun
[technologyreview.com] – The Road to Solar Fuels Hits a Speed Bump
[solarh2.tu-darmstadt.de] – SOLARH2 (EU)
[scientificamerican.com] – Scientists May Be a Step Closer to Creating Solar-Fueled Vehicles
[power-technology.com] – Solar fuels: materials breakthrough could open new chapter

[tue.nl] – Inorganic Materials Chemistry, Solar Fuels
[umcutrecht.nl] – UMC Utrecht – Solar Fuels

Read more…

Windrail – Solar and Wind from a Roof in Berlin

Swiss innovation: Windrail, combining solar and wind power in a single module, to be placed on buildings with a flat roof. The module weighs 250 kg, is 3 m high and 2 m wide and exploits the increased pressure along the roof (Venturi effect). The building functioning like a dam for air. Module name plate power: 2.5 kW. The higher the building, the higher the yield; 7 m minimum. Densely build environments are best. An estimated 1 in 100 buildings are suitable for this installation. The more modules are installed next to each other, the higher the yield per module. The C30-module can produce between 1500-3000 kWh year, depending on location. Current price module ca. 5000 euro.

10 so-called “windrails” and additional solar panels generate a 95,000 kWh/year.

[anerdgy.com] – Windrail home site
[zeroplus.org] – WindRail technology
[welt.de] – So gewinnt man Energie aus Sonne und Luftströmungen
[wingas.com] – Volle Kante Energie
[ee-news.ch] – Zürcher Windturbine WindRail
[enbausa.de] – Windrail nutzt Wind und Sonne am Hausfirst
[ingenieur.de] – WindRail kombiniert Wind und Sonne für private Energieerzeugung
[windkraft-journal.de] – Windkraft ohne Windrad, kombinierte Wind-Sonnenkraftwerke für Hausdächer

[source] C30 module

Baltic Wikinger Offshore Wind Farm

Spanish developer Iberdrola, 350 MW, 70 turbines, area 34 km2, water depth 37-43 m, distance to German shore 39 km.

[4coffshore.com] – Wikinger Offshore Wind Farm

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