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Fred. Olsen Designs Novel Floating Foundation for Offshore Wind

brunel floater
Image courtesy Fred. Olsen 1848

Published May 8, 2022 3:22 PM by The Maritime Executive

Norwegian company Fred. Olsen 1848 has launched a modular floating wind turbine foundation that offers the prospect of large-scale production at low cost.

The company announced that after several years of development, it has finally launched Brunel, a modular floating foundation that is designed for ultra large wind turbines. Brunel is designed with a modular approach, suitable for serial production, fast scale-up, shallow draft in-port assembly, and low cost.

According to the company, the main challenge for floating offshore wind is the ability to manufacture and assemble floating foundations at a volume that is needed for full-scale installations.

“The design of Brunel is based on a simple, yet challenging design philosophy: to see if we can build a foundation based on generic steel tubulars and hence enable manufacturing at commercial scale,” said Sofie Olsen Jebsen, Fred. Olsen 1848 CEO.

Brunel is the first technology to emerge from Fred. Olsen 1848 following the spin-off firm's founding in November last year. The company was established to celebrate the Fred. Olsen family’s 175 years in the maritime industry, and its focus is on the development and commercialization of new solutions for the floating wind and floating solar.

The launch of Brunel comes after final tank tests at SINTEF Ocean. It also has a statement of feasibility from DNV.

The company is determined to make Brunel available for commercial use as quickly as possible, and it intends to exempt the turbine foundation from piloting and full-scale demonstration through a physical-numerical validation approach. The objective is to make the system ready for commercial application within three years.

“With its low LCOE (levelized cost of energy) and ability for serial and mass production, we believe the Brunel to be a game-changer that can unlock the potential of floating offshore wind,” said Jebsen.