Dutch company SPT Offshore has introduced a new wind turbine suction pile foundation concept they claim is low cost and environmentally-friendly.
The suction piles have the advantage of fast installation and utilize a virtually noise-free technique, making them safe for sea mammals. Additionally, the company says suction piles do not cause shocks to the foundation allowing single piece installation up to the work platform.
The transition piece used in the foundation can be either steel or concrete. The company is still testing to determine which performs better, stating, “Concrete has it pros and cons, it is cheap to fabricate but is heavier for handling by a heavy lift crane vessel. Steel has the benefits of being light and simple to build and the design process is more flexible and allows a shorter fabrication schedule.”
SPT claims its suction piles are suitable for use in 99% of the North Sea and most shallow water areas worldwide having sandy or layered soils. They are refining the design hope to demonstrate the product within 12 months.