The company’s enhanced design aims to further refine its solution to address the primary challenges facing the offshore wind industry - such as cost, supply chain bottlenecks, and sustainability. It will do this by providing a lightweight, cheaper design that minimises the impact on fragile marine environments while using existing port infrastructure.
As a third-generation technology, the platform delivers enhanced mooring innovation that enables serial production. The platform makes first generation technology - which was primarily designed to float and survive harsh ocean conditions - obsolete and improves on second generation designs that are focused on industrialisation. Instead, Gazelle’s platform moves away from archaic models that are stationary, heavy, bulky, and difficult to assemble and transport while reducing costs by 30 percent compared to conventional semi-submersible designs. Part of this improvement comes from the reduction in steel versus traditional offshore platforms. For example, a one-gigawatt offshore wind farm using Gazelle’s solution would save 71 kt of steel and reduce emissions of approximately 100 kt of carbon dioxide.
The company’s platform can be quickly and simply installed at project sites because it requires no specialist cranes or vessels thanks to a cost-effective, innovative design using globally available components and a modular assembly process.
“On top of lowering costs and taking advantage of pre-existing infrastructure, every aspect of Gazelle’s floating offshore wind platform is designed to minimise environmental impact by using less steel and materials that protect the biodiversity of marine ecosystems, eliminating seabed scouring, and reducing installation impact” said Gazelle CTO Jason Wormald.
The platform’s unique geometry provides reduced draft in port, which means it floats higher in the water enabling the use of shallow ports with high stability in towing and wet storage. Pivoting arms allow the platform to move with the wind, waves, and tides that result in lower forces, enabling a lighter - and therefore cheaper - structure.
The Gazelle platform utilises an innovative, dynamic mooring system representing a paradigm shift from an active ballast to a natural, passive system that balances forces and motions through a counterweight, keeping the turbine pitch low and improving operational efficiency. Vertical mooring lines attached to the pivoting arms reduce the platform’s environmental footprint by minimising impact and allowing for a 75 percent reduction in mooring length when compared to semi-submersibles with catenary mooring in depths of 100 meters or more.
For additional information: