Chronicle

October 2018 - GICON® SOF - Third generation GICON® SOF undergoes further tank tests

Focus on transport- and installation process

A 1:50 scale model of the GICON® SOF (Floating Offshore Foundation) was exposed to tank tests for transport and installation process experiments from 17th to 27th September 2018 at the SSPA Maritime Dynamics Laboratory in Gothenburg, Sweden. These tests included the towing of the SOF using the buoyancy of the gravity anchor plate, the lowering of the gravity anchor plate and the pulling down of the SOF.

GICON founder Prof. Jochen Großmann commented: ‘These tests are another milestone on the path to a floating Tension Leg Platform (TLP) with turbines of 6 MW or larger which leads to Levelized Costs of Energy (LCOE) of less than 50 € / MWh. After the 3rd generation GICON® SOF passed first wind and wave tests last year, we were able to confirm the towing process and the new anchoring process in Gothenburg. Both features combined are the core of the successful operation of the SOF.’ Back in fall of 2017, an SOF model of the same scale was successfully exposed to extreme loads with significant wave heights of up to 12.9 m in Nantes, France. Statistically, such waves occur e.g. in the North Sea only every 50 years.

Transport- and installation process tested in different sea states

GICON and the Endowed Chair of Wind Energy Technology at the University of Rostock (LWET) were involved in the tests in Gothenburg. Dr. Frank Adam, chief scientist of the LWET offshore wind research group, puts the results of the current tests in context as follows: ‘After the successful wind and wave tests, we wanted to take the next step and extensively test the towing and installation process on the model. Both were tested under smooth water conditions as well as in different sea states. With the help of the model tests, we can determine the real motion behavior and the forces acting on the overall structure consisting of floating substructure, anchors and ropes.’ To fully test both the towing and the installation processes, the team needed an appropriately long test tank with the necessary equipment, which was available in Gothenburg. For the tests, the model was equipped with a gravity anchor plate and electric motors so that the dynamic behavior during the one-step installation, i.e. the lowering of the gravity anchor plate and the pulling down of the SOF could be investigated. During the entire trials, data on motion behavior and occurring forces during the transport and installation process were recorded to compare them with simulations.

Following the successful tests, Dr. Adam and his team will now be very busy to evaluate the test results. ‘In the coming months, we will evaluate all test results and compare them with the simulations. The video material alone comprises several hours and dozens of gigabytes of data. Based on this evaluation, we will optimize the transport and installation routines and develop further scenarios that will be tested in future model tests," he announces.

LCOE of less than 50 Euro / MWh possible

The advantages of the GICON®-SOF are its stability, its cost-effective on-site installation in the open sea and the innovative steel-concrete composite components. This combination plus the modular assembly at portside streamlines the supply chain and reduces LCOE to below 50 Euro/MWh while significantly reducing CO2 emissions at the same time. Another advantage: The TLP is also setting an example when it comes to environmental protection by dispensing with ramming in the seabed.



April 2018 - GICON® SOF - New tank tests for autumn 2018 confirmed

Project partners are awarded the funding for further tests in autumn 2018, in which the transport and installation processes of the GICON® SOF are to be simulated.

The Endowed Chair of Wind Energy Technology at the University of Rostock (LWET) has been awarded the funding for further tank tests within the framework of the European funding network Marinet2. The funding was awarded in connection with the long-standing cooperation between LWET and GICON in the field of the development of floating substructures for offshore wind turbines. After successfully passing wind and wave tests simulating an operational GICON® SOF in October 2017, the TLP's full-scale transport and installation processes are now to be simulated and utilized in targeted further development of the technology. Project Manager Dr. Frank Adam (LWET): "We are very happy that we have been awarded the funding, because we can use the tests to support our computational results for the latest GICON® SOF designs with methodological measurements from the tests". The tests are scheduled to take place in Gothenburg in autumn 2018 and will take more than two weeks.

TRL 5 is underpinned

The tests in the water basin of the SSPA - Maritime Hydrodynamics Laboratory will serve to consolidate the development of TLP at level TRL 5, after the system had already reached TRL 5 through the tests at ECN in Nantes in October.

Advantages with levelized cost of electricity of less than 50 Euro/MWh

“The greatest advantage of our TLP foundation lies in its stability,” says Prof. Jochen Grossmann, founder of GICON. “This means that the platform-related requirements for wind turbines are much lower than for other systems.” The GICON® SOF also relies on innovative steel-reinforced concrete composite components. “With this combination, plus a modular assembly in port, we are streamlining the supply chain and reducing the levelized cost of electricity to below 50 Euro/MWh while significantly reducing CO2 emissions at the same time”.

Future of the GICON® SOF already online

Link to the video: https://youtu.be/t7cIcBYRs5Q

In a newly produced video, the GICON and LWET project partners are already demonstrating the future of their TLP development. On display are the construction of all modules at various suppliers, the transport to the port of destination, the modular assembly at the quay edge and finally the towing process to the final destination and the subsequent installation in the wind farm. The video visualizes the extensive advantages of GICON technology in a compact manner.



October 2017 - Third generation GICON® SOF passes tank tests

The GICON® SOF has successfully passed its first tank tests and thus demonstrated that the door is open for a floating tension leg platform with turbines from 6MW upwards, which enables a levelized cost of electricity of less...

The 1:50 model of the GICON® SOF, incl. wind turbine, was lifted with a crane into the water basin at the Laboratory in Hydrodynamics, Energy and Atmospheric Environment of Central Nantes and CNRS (ECN). “Just to see the model floating was a success. Everything was watertight, the cable tensions on the buoyancy elements provided exactly the stability we calculated," said a satisfied Dr. Frank Adam, Scientific Director of the Offshore Wind Research Group at the Endowed Chair for Wind Energy Technology at the University of Rostock (LWET), after the tests. Together with engineers from the GICON Group company, he and his team supervised the tests in Nantes and collected the latest data. With the third generation of the TLP, GICON has already demonstrated that a levelized cost of electricity of less than 50 Euro/MWh is possible due to the use of cost-efficient, steel-reinforced concrete composite components and the modular design.

TLP passes all wave and wind tests

The TLP was subjected to various wind and wave tests; it passed them all successfully. Dr. Adam outlined the series of tests: “We started with so-called decay tests and also subjected the model to extreme loads from several wave tests." In ECN's water basin, waves with significant wave heights of 11.4 and 12.9 m were simulated, as such waves only occur statistically every 10 and 50 years, respectively. The data collected during the tests will be intensively evaluated in the coming months by LWET scientists and GICON engineers in order to gain further insights into how to improve the platform.

Levelized cost of electricity of less than 50 Euro MWh can be achieved

“The greatest advantage of our TLP foundation is its stability," says Prof. Jochen Großmann, founder of GICON. “This means that the requirements for wind power plants with regard to platform motion are considerably lower than those of other systems.” The GICON® SOF also relies on innovative steel-reinforced concrete composite components. “With this combination, plus in-port modular assembly, we are streamlining the supply chain and reducing the levelized cost of electricity to below 50 Euro/MWh, while significantly reducing CO2 emissions.”

The two partners, GICON and LWET, are currently planning to continue their tests with the third generation of TLPs in mid-2018. The first large-scale platform is planned for the near future.

Image Movie Tank Test: To give you an impression of the tank test, we uploaded a video on our youtube channel. LINK: youtu.be/QjAxmNewJf4



Oktober 2017 - GICON®-SOF bei Internationaler Konferenz in Polen vorgestellt

Als mögliche technische Lösung für polnische Offshore Windparks hat GICON die Technologie des GICON®-SOF auf der 6. internationalen Konferenz „Offshore Wind Logistics & Supplies 2017“ in Gdynia vorgestellt.

Der polnische Markt befindet sich momentan in der Konsolidierung. Obwohl politisch derzeit nicht stark unterstützt, schätzen Experten, dass bereits 2030 Offshore-Windparks in der polnischen Ostsee stehen können, die eine Leistung von 6 GW haben. „Für die GICON ist Polen ein interessanter Markt, da er noch am Anfang der Offshore-Entwicklung steht. Die Partner GICON, Universität Rostock sowie TU Bergakademie Freiberg können hier ihr technisches Knowhow gezielt einbringen“, fasst Prof. Frank Dahlhaus von der TU Bergakademie Freiberg die Ausgangslage im östlichen Nachbarland zusammen. Dahlhaus war vom 24. – 25. Oktober Referent der 6. internationalen Konferenz „Offshore Wind Logistics & Supplies 2017“. Zwei Tage lang tauschten sich Experten über Produktion und Entwicklung der Offshore-Branche in Polen aus.

GICON®-SOF – eine Lösung für die polnische Küste

In seinem Vortrag präsentierte Prof. Dahlhaus die Vorzüge der TLP Technologie, auch im Hinblick auf mögliche Standorte vor der polnischen Ostseeküste. Das GICON®-SOF hat neben seiner extremen Stabilität und dem Einsatz in Wassertiefen von 40 bis 500 Metern (6MW Anlage) den Vorteil einer massiven Reduzierung des Gewichts durch die Verwendung von Stahl-Beton-Verbundteilen. Dahlhaus sprach vor Fachkollegen von einer „immensen Verbesserung der Wirtschaftlichkeit“ für diese Technologie. Der Professor für Baukonstruktion und Massivbau der TU Bergakademie Freiberg hob auch den modularen Zusammenbau der einzelnen TLP Komponenten mit der Windturbine im Hafen hervor. „Allein die modulare Bauweise des TLP mit dem Schwergewichtsanker beschleunigt die gesamte Produktionskette. Bis zu 200 Unterstrukturen jährlich, die so auf einem Trockendock vorgefertigt werden können, sind realistisch“. Die Reduzierung von Kosten, Masse und Produktionszeit ist der entscheidende Schlüssel, um Stromgestehungskosten von unter 50 Euro MWh und Einsparungen der CO2-Emmission zu erreichen.



May 2017 - GICON and Glosten are joining forces for TLP Offering

The two engineering companies, German-based GICON® – Grossmann Ingenieur Consult GmbHand US-based Glosten, are forming a strategic business relationship.

The two engineering companies, German-based GICON® – Grossmann Ingenieur Consult GmbHand US-based Glosten, are forming a strategic business relationship.

The two engineering companies, German-based GICON® – Grossmann Ingenieur Consult GmbHand US-based Glosten, are forming a strategic business relationship. The objective is to concentrate resources to develop an optimum Tension Leg Platform (TLP) offshore wind foundation designed for the full range of water depths (20 to 350m), for all metocean conditions, seabed types and turbine sizes. Both companies provide engineering as their core business. The companies point out the advantages of their newly established co-operation such as using their strengths and geographic presence to optimize efforts in demonstrating the benefits of TLP technologies for the offshore industry.

Over the past years, both companies have developed their own respective substructure technologies. And yet, the GICON® SOF and the Glosten PelaStar TLP designs have complementary advantages. GICON® and Glosten’s collaboration will advance each design type and open the door to the potential evolution of hybrid solutions.

The result of the new partnership offers developers, utilities and independent power producers a single source TLP solution with a LCOE of less than 70€/MWh. Our medium-term goal is to reach $54/MWh for a windfarm consisting of 10MW wind turbines” says GICON® founder Prof. Jochen Grossmann. GICON® and Glosten provide fully-integrated, engineered, certified, detailed design packages and technology assurances as part of their technology solutions.

TLP Technologies lowering demands on wind turbines

The advantage of the Tension Leg Platform offshore wind substructure lies in its stability. Therefore, the demands on wind turbines from platform motion are much lower compared to other floating technologies. The stability of a TLP system is achieved by the combination of forces from tendons and buoyancy. No separate systems for stabilization, such as active ballast systems are needed. Furthermore, the TLP has a significantly lower mass compared to other offshore foundation solutions, such as semisubmersible floaters.

About the Partners

GICON® and Glosten have been promoting floating technology for offshore wind for several years. Together with eight other companies, they founded the “Friends of Floating Offshore Wind” in 2016. The group aims to define the support needed to help developers overcome challenges on the road to commercialization and to communicate those requirements to the general public and relevant stakeholders.

GICON® is an incorporated group of independent engineering and consulting companies, founded in 1994.  The group operates under the registered trademark GICON®. GICON’s headquarters are in Dresden, Germany. Office locations throughout Germany and in various European and Asian locations as well as in the Americas enable provision of services in proximity to the client. GICON® has been heavily involved in the process of preparing the market for floating foundations for many years. IRENA acknowledged GICON as “First mover” for its innovative research and development of the GICON® - SOF (download printable image), the first German floating TLP foundation. (www.gicon.de)

Glosten, a Seattle-based engineering consultancy founded in 1958, is recognized throughout the marine industry for innovative solutions, integrating advanced analysis with practical, experience-based design.  With expertise in Naval Architecture, Ocean Engineering & Analysis, Marine Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Detail/Production Design, Glosten initially conceived of the PelaStar Tension Leg Platform (download printable image) in 2006, and completed a FEED Study for a full-scale 6MW platform demonstration in 2014.  In 2015, Glosten acquired Noise Control Engineering, LLC, a premier acoustical and structural engineering consultancy specializing in noise and vibration measurement and control for marine, industrial, commercial, and military applications. (www.glosten.com)



January 2017 - IRENA ranks GICON-SOF as “First Mover”

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has ranked the first German floating platform, the GICON®-SOF, as a "First Mover" in its report on current floating foundation projects based on a Tension-Leg Platform.

With the GICON®-SOF technology, GICON has taken over the leadership in offshore platforms for wind turbines based on the Tension-Leg platform (TLP) principle. This has now been confirmed in the independent IRENA report (Floating Foundations - A Game Changer for Offshore Wind Power).

The TLP technology is characterized by strong positional stability. As a result, the requirements for a wind power installation due to platform movement are substantially lower than with other systems of offshore wind turbines. With the TLP, stability is achieved by bracing. This means that no active systems are required for stabilization. The TLP is lighter in comparison to competing technologies, such as the Spar Buoy or Spar Submersible platforms. Through further development and modification of the TLP, which has been carried out jointly with the TU Bergakademie Freiberg and the University of Rostock and which is protected by 12 families of patents, GICON has been able to remedy several disadvantages of the TLP, such as poor floating stability during transport. In addition, and due to optional additional inclined cables, this substructure is the only floating system designed for ice loads, e.g. in the Baltic Sea. One result of this innovation is the low levelized cost of energy, currently under 9 Cents (EUR) per kWh.

Floating platforms are regarded as a future technology for the generation of wind power in the offshore sector. The GICON® SOF technology can be deployed in coastal regions with water depths between 30 and 500 meters. According to the current state of technology, water depths deeper than approx. 50 m are no longer economically feasible with solid foundations.

IRENA is an organization based in the United Arab Emirates. A total of 149 member states belong to the organization. IRENA has the stated goal of promoting renewable energies all over the world. "We are firmly convinced that with the SOF, we have developed a breakthrough technology that can create a considerable amount of jobs, not only within the GICON company group, but also for many supply chain companies," said Prof. Jochen Grossmann, the founder of GICON.



November 2016 - GICON® SOF presented to Polish Offshore Society

At the invitation of the Polish Offshore Wind Energy Society, the SOF was the main topic at the one-day seminar in Gdansk.

The one-hour lecture by Dr. Frank Adam on the topic of the GICON® SOF ended with an ovation. The first German floating offshore foundation was the main topic of the third offshore seminar presented by the Polish Offshore Wind Energy Society (PTMEW) in Gdansk. For over an hour, Mr. Adam presented the status of the development and work on the GICON® SOF to representatives from politics, science and industry.

In his presentation, Mr. Adam explained the key technical and economic data of the SOF. He went into detail on the new steel-concrete composite components, which would bring the SOF’s levelized cost of electricity down to well below 9 cents / euro per kilowatt hour and further minimize CO2 emissions. At the same time, Mr. Adam highlighted the advantages of vertical and perpendicular cables attached to the gravity anchors that provide the SOF with stability similar to a fixed foundation. There was great interest in the complete, in-port assembly of the SOF, incl. tower and turbine, which in turn has a positive effect on costs as well as the construction schedule.

In the subsequent, one-hour discussion, not only was significant interest in the SOF expressed, but many new contacts were also made. This forms the basis for future partnerships for the transfer of knowledge and for business relationships.

Dr. Adam: "In the name of GICON, I would like to express my sincere thanks to PTMEW for the invitation. It was nice to see the level of interest in our technology. Within the framework of the seminar, we’ve had initial, fruitful talks which offer potential for future cooperation."

Offshore wind industry in Poland is still in its infancy

Despite initial successes in the Polish onshore wind industry, the subject of offshore wind in Poland is still in its infancy. The aim of governmental institutions is to decide within the next five years which technology will be used in the construction of a first offshore wind farm along the coast of the Baltic Sea. There is still no certainty as to whether the future decision will fall in favor of fixed foundations or floating solutions (e.g., the innovative GICON® SOF concept). Scientists from the Technical University of Danzig are currently working on solutions in the area of ​​floating foundations; the topic is thus already on the agenda in Poland.

Network paves the way for local offshore industry

PTMEW has been exclusively dedicated to the future of the offshore wind industry in Germany’s eastern neighbor for more than eight years. In order to get political decision-makers, industry leaders and scientists together, the network regularly organizes events such as the one-day seminar in Gdańsk. Mariusz Witonski, President of PTMEW: "We are very happy that we were able to attract GICON as a guest to our seminar series. I was positively impressed by the potential of floating foundations and by GICON's honest interest in cooperating with Polish companies for future developments and fabrication. That's exactly what these seminars are all about."



September 2016 - Polen und Großbritannien begeistern sich für SOF

GICON® stellt schwimmendes Fundament im Rahmen der internationalen Konferenz „Offshore Wind – Logistics & Supplies 2016“ in Danzig vor.

Der Offshore Markt ist in Bewegung, auch in Polen. Hier steckt die Entwicklung jedoch im Vergleich zu Deutschland noch in den Anfängen. Der erste polnische Windpark in der Ostsee ist für 2019 geplant. Eine wichtige Rolle bei der zukünftigen Ausrichtung werden auch in Polen schwimmende Strukturen für Windenergieanlagen spielen. GICON® hat in diesem Bereich mit seinem schwimmenden Offshore Fundament (SOF) eine Innovation entwickelt, die nicht zuletzt durch den Einsatz von Stahlbetonverbundteilen und Stromgestehungskosten unter 9 €Cent/kWh überzeugen kann.

Auf der internationalen Konferenz „Offshore Wind – Logistics & Supplies 2016“ in Danzig, die von der polnischen Gesellschaft für Offshore Wind Energie (PTMEW) veranstaltet wurde, nahm das GICON®-SOF eine zentrale Rolle der Präsentationen anwesender Offshore-Unternehmen ein. Die Meinung der Teilnehmer: schwimmende Fundamente, wie das SOF, haben Zukunft vor den Küsten Polens. Besonders die geringen Kosten, die Bauweise und ein möglicher Standort zwischen 30 und 500 Metern im Küstenbereich, haben die Teilnehmer für die Dresdner Entwicklung begeistert.  

Im Oktober wird GICON auf Einladung des PTMEW erneut nach Danzig zu einem Industrieseminar reisen.

GICON® stellt schwimmendes Fundament im Rahmen der internationalen Konferenz „CORE 2016“ in Glasgow vor.

Auch in Großbritannien wird das Potential der Offshore Windenergie thematisiert. Bei der internationalen Konferenz „Core 2016“ im schottischen Glasgow wurden unterschiedliche Technologien im Bereich erneuerbare Energien, wie zum Beispiel Gezeiten-, Strömungs- oder Windturbinen für den Offshore-Einsatz diskutiert. Tenor der Teilnehmer war, dass zukünftig die Stromgestehungskosten für erneuerbare Offshore Energiewandler wesentlich reduziert werden müssen, um wettbewerbsfähig zu anderen Versorgern wie Gasstrom- oder Onshore Windstrom Anbietern zu werden. In diesem Zusammenhang wurde dem Vortrag zur Wirtschaftlichkeit des GICON®-SOF besondere Aufmerksamkeit zu Teil, da die erreichbaren Stromgestehungskosten von unter 9€ct/kWh präsentiert und die in diesem Zusammenhang stehende optimierte Bauweise inkl. einer flexiblen Zuliefererkette dargestellt wurden.

Die Ergebnisse der GICON® Firmengruppe in diesen Fachbereich waren für die Teilnehmer ein Indikator, dass schwimmende Substrukturen für Offshore Windenergieanlagen und im Speziellen das GICON®-SOF der dritten Generation einen wesentlichen Beitrag zum Durchbruch dieser Technologie liefern werden.



September 2016 - GICON®-SOF - promotional film online

In June 2016, as part of Global Offshore Wind 2016 in Manchester, outstanding developments in the offshore industry were reported. The final development documented was the GICON SOF, GICON's floating foundation for offshore wind...

In June 2016, as part of Global Offshore Wind 2016 in Manchester, outstanding developments in the offshore industry were reported. The final development documented was the GICON SOF, GICON's floating foundation for offshore wind turbines.

Over the course of two days, a team from WorldEnergy TV documented the GICON® SOF for a promotional film. This film was shown at the exhibition in Manchester and is now available at GICON's youtube channel.

https://youtu.be/Y3Is3-j7Bos

The GICON® SOF is another innovation from the GICON Group. It is a floating offshore foundation for wind turbines, especially those that can be deployed in water depths between 30 and 500 meters. Its low weight and easy handling lead to a levelized cost of electricity of less than 9 cents (€) per kW / h. The SOF is currently being manufactured at GICON ESG in Stralsund and is to be installed and commissioned in 2017 in the Baltic Sea as the world's first floating offshore pilot plant to be integrated into a commercial wind farm.



July 2016 - GICON® SOF to be represented at the International Offshore Wind Partnering Forum 2016 (USA)

In cooperation with the University of Rostock, Dr. Frank Adam will present on the development of GICON® SOF and is part of one of the pioneering forums in the U.S.

Dr. Frank Adam, Group Leader for Young Researchers at the Endowed Chair of Wind Energy Technology at the University of Rostock, will deliver a presentation entitled "Supply chain & manufacturing of the first German floating wind turbine (GICON®-SOF)" at the International Offshore Wind Partnering Forum (IPF). The Forum will be held from 2 – 5 October in Newport, Rhode Island, and is one of the pioneering forums of its kind in North America. "The topic of the presentation is important because it provides an overview of the planning processes and the supply chain for the production of GICON® SOF and its installation in the German Baltic Sea," read the official statement on the appointment of Dr. Adam as a speaker at the Forum.

Dr. Adam to discuss the market advantages of the GICON® SOF

In his presentation to the audience of industry professionals, Dr. Adam will place special emphasis on the lightweight construction of steel-concrete and highlight the fact that the development of GICON® SOF has led to a further reduction of weight and therefore cost, but which also results in reduced CO2 emissions during the manufacturing process. "In the USA, there is huge potential for the floating foundation, as floating offshore wind turbines must be focused on due to the water depths in US coastal waters. Specifically, the GICON® SOF can set itself apart from other technologies, as it represents an economical alternative to other foundation systems," said the scientist from the University of Rostock. Furthermore, a focal point of the presentation will be the production facility and services of the GICON Group and its partners. "I look forward to the discussion with the participants, because we can present one of the most viable technologies, and can demonstrate our competitiveness with a levelized cost of energy of well below 10 Euro cents / KWh, what is already comparable to onshore wind turbines."

Forum advocates for more offshore energy in the USA

The aim of the IPF is to promote business partnerships that will contribute to the growth of the offshore wind industry in the US and increase capacity in the supply chain. "The network has become the fulcrum of the offshore wind community and the forum is the place for constructive discussions and unparalleled networking opportunities," says Donald Hairston, chairman of the Business Network for Offshore Wind, which is sponsoring the IPF in Rhode Island. This year, more than 275 participants are expected to attend the industry forum.

Research collaboration between GICON and the University of Rostock sponsored by the Land Mecklenburg-Vorpommern

The project will be sponsored by the German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (Grant No.: TBI V 1-070-BSD-025). The duration of the funding is two years.



May 2016 - GICON founding member of the "Friends of Floating Offshore Wind" global network

Interest group advocates uniform conditions for development

GICON is a founding member of the "Friends of Floating Offshore Wind" global network. In addition to the Dresden-based GICON Group, nine other companies, developers and organizations from Europe and America have come together to form the network, which would provide improved conditions for the technological advancement of floating offshore wind turbines. The aim is to develop this technology to market viability no later than 2025 and thus effectively support efforts to combat climate change.

The member’s research projects are currently in different stages but face similar challenges on the road to market launch. Identifying and mastering these challenges is the central focus of the network. These challenges include national permitting procedures, connecting to the electrical grid and investment incentives. To achieve improvements in these areas, the network is placing emphasis on discussions with governments and public agencies. At the first meeting of the network, it was determined that initially the British market and subsequently other international markets will be approached.

Karsten Koepke, project manager of the GICON® SOF, is looking forward to the exchange: "We hope that the network will enable improved communications with other developers and governments, so that this future-oriented technology will quickly become ready for the market and thus become enticing for investors."

GICON a driving force in the development of floating offshore wind turbines

Through the GICON® SOF, GICON is currently one of the driving forces in the development of floating offshore wind turbines. A functional model of the SOF is currently being manufactured in Stralsund, Germany, and will be installed off the German Baltic Sea coast in 2016. Extensive technical and ecological testing is planned for the prototype. Simultaneously, an additional location is being developed for prompt installation of another functional model with a 5-6 MW turbine under North Sea conditions. In subsequent years, the GICON® SOF will ultimately be put into mass production.



May 2016 - Development of a floating foundation for third generation wind turbines with the University of Rostock

Mecklenburg-Vorpommern funds lightweight substructure for wind turbines of 6MW and larger

In April 2016, the German State of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania) announced the official funding decision for the development of a foundation for offshore wind turbines from reinforced concrete composite components. With the funding level of approx. 1 million euros for project partners ESG Edelstahl und Umwelttechnik Stralsund GmbH and the Endowed Chair of Wind Energy Technology at the University of Rostock, the development and full-scale testing of a sub-structure for third generation wind turbines of 6MW or larger is now financially secured.

In this context, the kick-off meeting for the new cooperative research project with the partners ESG GmbH and the University of Rostock took place in Stralsund on 26 April 2016. Nine experienced engineers and three technicians discussed the technical aspects of the project and determined the next steps.

The scientific and technical objective of the funded project is the development of a novel support structure manufactured with components which demonstrate high loading capacity but are simultaneously durable and lightweight. Likewise, reinforced concrete or lightweight concrete components are to be developed, which pre-load the substructure. In order to materialize the structure, it is necessary to develop the structure using a composite made of concrete or fiber concrete and steel or fiber-reinforced concrete.

ESG GmbH, a member of the Dresden, Germany-based GICON Group, is implementing the basic outline based on the BSH standard design for wind turbines. The aero-servo-hydro-elastically coupled simulation, including the preliminary design, falls within the scope of the Endowed Chair of Wind Energy Technology at the University of Rostock.

The focus of the work is both the local development of the offshore wind industry with their associated supply chain in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and the establishment of a "Made in MV" product for the international market.

In the project, a very close, synergetic collaboration between the University of Rostock and GICON / ESG will be implemented to achieve the project objectives and to efficiently utilize the available resources. The long-standing cooperation between the University of Rostock and the GICON Group will thus be continued with another project.

For further information, please contact the respective Project Managers - Karsten Koepke of ESG GmbH or Dr. Frank Adam at the Endowed Chair for Wind Energy Technology at the University of Rostock.

The project partners express their thanks to the State of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern for the funding of this Project.



March 2014

Optimized SOF design passes final tank tests in Duisburg

3D model of the optimized support structure

Engineers of the GICON Group and TU Bergakademie Freiberg conducted further experiments on motion behavior of the GICON® SOF, using a 1:25 scale model. The experiments at the Development Center for Ship Technology and Transport Systems in Duisburg confirmed the SOF’s stability at different load case scenarios during the towing process. One focus of the experiments was the lowering process during installation.

These tests were preceded by a structural design optimization of the support structure which resulted in significant reduction of the structure’s mass, from 1500 tons to around 670 tons. In addition, the new design meets the requirements at the manufacturing site Nordic Yards Stralsund, such as gate widths, the size of the conservation halls or the width of the crane used for lowering the structure.



February 2014

The GICON® SOF US patent is issued

Patent certificate „Floating foundation supporting framework with buoyancy components, having an open-relief design“

On January 7th, 2014, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued the patent for the GICON® SOF. Thus, the GICON® SOF is now also patent protected in the United States. The certificate No. 8,622,011 B2, entitled "Floating foundation supporting framework with buoyancy components, having an open-relief design" is now initially protected until July 7th, 2017. The maximum protection ends on January 8, 2029. The patent may be viewed by entering the certificate number at www.uspto.gov.



August 2013

GICON enters into R&D co-operation agreement with Fraunhofer IWES

Director of IWES Prof. Dr. Andreas Reuter (left) and GICON's CEO Prof. Dr. Jochen Grossmann sign the co-operation agreement

At the end of August 2013, GICON and Fraunhofer IWES signed a cooperation agreement in Hannover. It was agreed to join forces for the development of a full scale SOF prototype.  Fraunhofer IWES has extensive expertise in successfully developing models and software for the simulation and design of floating wind turbines and is one of the leading international research institutions in this field.



July 2013

The Governor of the State of Mecklenburg – Vorpommern Erwin Sellering is impressed by the SOF development

The Governor of the State of Mecklenburg – Vorpommern Erwin Sellering in front of the SOF model

During his summer tour across the State of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Governor Erwin Sellering visited IfAÖ Institute for Applied Ecology in New Broderstorf. He was particularly impressed by the SOF development and innovation of the GICON Group. The Governor reviewed the SOF scale model and expressed his full support for the further development of innovative ideas, since such innovations create and preserve long-term employment opportunities in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.



June 2013

Combined wind-wave tank tests exceed expectations

The 1:37 scale model of the GICON®-SOF including offshore wind turbine

During June 17th – 24th, 2013, the R&D team conducted experiments with a 1:37 scale model in combined wind-wave tests at the Maritime Research Institute Netherlands (MARIN). The test results confirmed the technical and operational integrity of the SOF substructure and validate prior simulations, showing a high level of structural and dynamic stability during various wind and wave load cases.

The experiments proved that the floating GICON® SOF substructure has limited motion and is thus comparable to bottom fixed foundations in terms of its stability. This level of stability is unique among the floating platforms for offshore wind currently under development globally. This stability factor ensured that the SOF can be used with any existing, standard offshore wind turbine. The experimental results confirmed the technical feasibility of the SOF design.



November 2012

Prof. Grossmann introduces the GICON® SOF development to Mr. Peter Altmaier, German Federal Secretary of the Environment

The GICON®-SOF gains recognition on a political top-level - German Federal Secretary of the Environment Peter Altmaier next to Prof. Grossmann and Member of the German Bundestag Andreas Laemmel (right to left)

On November 6th, 2012 Prof. Grossmann had the opportunity to introduce the innovative nature and economic benefits of the GICON® SOF to Secretary Peter Altmaier as well as Andreas Laemmel, Member of the German Bundestag for the Dresden district. Both gentlemen were impressed with the solutions presented and expressed their best wishes for the successful realization of the prototype and market introduction. 



February 2012

Initial wave tank tests with a 1:25 scale model confirm practicability and technical viability

The 1:25 scale model of the SOF prior to the experimentsThe model proved to be stable during simulated sea states

In February 2012 a 1:25 scale model was exposed to wave tank experiments which were conducted at the Hamburg Ship Model Basin. These tests included both operational tests as well as towing tests at different sea states. During the experiments, the essential parameters such as displacement, acceleration and rope forces were measured with appropriate instrumentation.

All experiments confirmed the technical feasibility as well as functionality of the GICON® SOF. The data, as well as the observed behavior, were within the prior modeled and simulated assumptions for both the transport as well as operational states. The accelerations at hub height measured only a few centimeters.



2009

GICON starts the initial GICON® SOF concept design work

An early model of the SOF

The initial design concept was based on the assumption that the Tension-Leg-Platform (TLP) principle, originally designed for the oil and gas industry, could be could also be utilized for offshore wind turbine substructures. The tendency to twist the TLP which is caused by the wind turbine, was eliminated by applying additional, diagonal bracing.