A Joint Industry Project (JIP) funded by the Scottish Government and administered by the Carbon Trust, under the Marine Renewables Commercialisation Fund (MRCF), has combined the efforts of nine European organizations with the objective of testing and qualifying new synthetic mooring lines for offshore wind applications.
The use of nylon is expected to be cost-effective in shallower water depths. Project leader for the JIP is Tension Technology International (TTI). Other participants include Bridon International, Ideol, Bluewater Energy Services, DNV-GL and Lloyd’s Register.
Lloyd’s Register has conducted a technology qualification, following LR Guidance Notes for the Technology Qualification process, which evaluated the qualification steps for the ropes designed by Bridon International. LR also witnessed key rope tests conducted at TTI Testing and Bridon International, including 20 million fatigue cycles on the nylon sample. These tests have confirmed the qualification of nylon for long term application, a qualification which has confirmed the cost reduction potential at commercial scale.
The JIP has also developed new modelling methodologies for nylon rope.
TTI was instrumental in starting Tethers 2000, the first major study to examine the effect of fiber, termination and construction on the tension-tension fatigue performance of ropes. This work lead on to the Engineers Design Guide, a basic standard for mooring lines and the Norsk Hydro JIP testing deepwater mooring ropes.
More recently, TTI was worked with the Carbon Trust, OPT, Promoor, Ecosea and Bridon to develop lighter and more efficient mooring systems specifically (but not exclusively) for tidal and wave energy devices.