Marine Performance Systems wins Offshore Wind Innovation Challenge 2019

Marine Performance Systems is the winner of the Offshore Wind Innovation Challenge 2019. This company has found a solution for noise reduction during piling. For an interested audience their presentation convinced the jury the most. The three other finalists were ARC Marine, Witteveen & Bos and Tribosonics. They came up with solutions to optimize a cage construction for flat oysters and to measure torque of bolts.

Marine Performance Systems is an engineering company that develops products for the maritime industry. They had applied for the Van Oord challenge. Van Oord hopes to reduce noise during pile driving by means of a controlled pressure control that can automatically adjust the diameter of air bubbles. Marine Performance Systems has already developed oscillators for the shipping industry to reduce the friction on ships by applying a bubble layer between the bottom of the ship and the (sea) water. They would like to make this technology applicable for the installation of wind turbines. During their presentation, they made it plausible that by adjusting the diameter of the bubbles in a controlled manner, they can reduce the noise in all sound frequencies.

Three challenges

Offshore Wind Innovators organizes the Offshore Wind Innovation Challenge to successfully connect start-ups and scale-ups with a first customer. To this end, large companies from the offshore wind industry formulate a problem for which they urgently seek a solution. The final of this edition took place on 9 December in the Oude Bibliotheek in Delft. Van Oord, Deutsche Windtechnik and the Rijke Noordzee had formulated three very different challenges, with promising solutions. Together with Martin Weissmann, community manager of Offshore Wind Innovators, they formed the jury.

Just like the three other finalists MPS will continue their cooperation with their potential launching customer by means of a research project, developing a prototype or (pre)commercial appointments. "The great thing is that a follow-up collaboration has been announced for all four finalists," said Martin Weissmann. “So we actually have four winners: real innovators who tackle specific problems. Because there can only be one winner, the jury designated MPS in a split decision. This is because their solution promotes ecological protection, saves CO₂ (less bubble pressure) and makes larger wind turbines still possible. ”

Flat oyster cages

For the challenge of the Rijke Noordzee to come up with an optimal design for flat oyster cages, even two candidates made it to the final. The purpose of this challenge is to strengthen nature in and around wind farms. ARC Marine is an eco-engineering firm that specializes in creating artificial reefs to promote the return and sustainability of life on the seabed. Reef Cubes is a patented artificial reef: hollow concrete cubes with a large spherical chamber with six openings. They want to monitor their technology in practice.

Engineering firm Witteveen & Bos also registered for this challenge. A special ecology team offers three variants. Each of the variants consists of a traditional oyster cage, but the key lies in the connection with the seabed and the morphodynamic conditions. They need support to detail their designs in terms of ecology, location characteristics and hydrodynamic calculations.

Measuring torque in bolts

Finally, Tribosonics had qualified for the final. They participated in the challenge of Deutsche Windtechnik where they have developed a way to measure the tension of already mounted bolts without a ‘zero measurement’ that is normally required at the time of confirmation. This saves costs during bolt inspection campaigns as the state of the connection cannot be seen from the outside. Tribosonics offers a method that was initially developed for the automotive industry, energy sector and production industry. It is a hand-operated device that can measure the tension in bolts. They have already tested it in the laboratory, but not yet in the field. They want to apply this technology in the offshore wind industry.

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