- The main goal of the project is to improve the useful life of offshore wind installations and propose solutions to reduce their costs and make them more sustainable. ACCIONA’s role is to define the requirements of the structures, as well as designing and manufacturing two new types of concrete at laboratory and prototype scale.
The European Marewind innovation project, in which ACCIONA is taking part, has recently been launched and will last for four years. The goal of the project is to find solutions that boost the competitiveness and efficiency of energy produced by offshore wind technology.
The main challenges facing the Marewind project include corrosion and fatigue caused by the humidity, UV radiation, abrasion and erosion that this technology is exposed to. Specifically, this includes erosion of the wind turbine blades, a major challenge for this industry, which can reduce annual energy production by 4% to 20%. All of this results in a loss of productivity of between €152 million and €760 million a year for the European offshore wind sector, which is in addition to the high maintenance and repair costs for offshore wind farms, which account for 25% of total costs.
To tackle these challenges, the partners in the Marewind project have identified a series of goals to achieve greater durability of the functional and structural components, as well as developing smart and lightweight materials, increasing the recycling of materials and implementing a predictive modelling system. This could reduce offshore energy production costs by up to 40% and the environmental impact by up to 35%, while also reducing fuel dependency.
The Marewind project, financed under the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme, has a total budget of around €7.9 million, of which €6.7 million has been provided by the European Union. To achieve its goals, the project team is made up of 15 partners from different fields and all key players in the current value chain for wind energy and maritime structures.
For its part, ACCIONA is a member of the research team responsible for defining the requirements for these types of structures, as well as designing and manufacturing two new types of concrete. One is ultra-high-performance fibre reinforced concrete (UHPFRC) that is more durable than traditional concrete thanks to its compactness, low absorption and permeability, and the other is a cement-free alkali activated concrete (AAC) that has a high content of recycled materials from industrial waste, which reduces its carbon footprint compared to traditional materials. Both types will be exposure tested at a later stage at a laboratory scale and then on a prototype scale in order to test them under real service conditions.
This project will allow the company to expand its knowledge of these types of infrastructures, as well as providing the market with innovative solutions that help to reduce the cost of offshore structures.
If you would like to know more about the Marewind project, follow this link: https://cordis.europa.eu/project/id/952960/es