14 GW of floating wind will be commisioned wordlwide by 2030, and 46 GW by 2035 (4C Offshore 2022). An average of approximately 200 large units will be required each year, reaching a requirement of 550 units per years by the end of the decade. To meet this goal, floating offshore wind energy must solve two main challenges:
Floating offshore wind is now facing the stage to reduce cost and reach a commercial scale. New concepts of substructures and demonstrator projects will lead to a cost reduction that will make this energy a natural alternative to the market.
Ports and Supply Chain Capacity
The size of floating offshore wind structures is vast and the number of units is very demanding. Therefore, the supply and logistics chain is expected to be under severe stress, being one of the main constraints to reaching the targets set by the sector.
The concept is based on polygonal sections, flat panels and flat welds, which facilitates construction and reduces the logistical requirements of the manufacturing blocks.
The low height of the concept reduces the need for scaffolding and load elevations, and enables the use of standard coating cabins.
HiveWind does not have gateways for communication between columns, enabling a faster assembly compared to other solutions.
Low steel weight
Structurally, the foundation requires low scantlings and consequent weight and cost reduction. One of the advantages compared to other concepts, is that the stresses react on more floating elements, simplifying the structural requirements of the bracing and the columns themselves, avoiding heavy pontoon scantlings, tie bracing, and decks in configurations with a reduced number of columns. This makes the platform lighter and shallower than other current platforms.
This solution has an installation, towing, and operation draft, meaning it can be installed in more ports than most of the other concepts. Furthermore, since the draft is constant in all phases, towing operations from the port to the site are simplified.
Easy WTG assembly
The WTG tower is installed in the external part of the platform, on the central column of the side of the triangle. This facilitates assembly operations due to a smaller crane arm requirement to operate. Moreover, it provides a structural advantage by directly distributing the stresses introduced by the wind turbine to a large number of floating elements, increasing the structural efficiency.
HiveWind is easily adaptable to site conditions and manufacturing facilities. The high degree of standardization gives the foundation large adaptability to site-specific environmental requirements worldwide. The simplicity of the design allows it to be governed with a few fundamental parameters to adapt to the given conditions without affecting productive means or logistical or supply needs.
Compatible with any commercial large WTG
The design is intended to support commercial turbines. Nowadays, turbine suppliers are expecting to develop a WTG in excess of 20MW in the next decade. HiveWind has been conceived to be easily scalable for larger turbines. The extra trust of larger WTG can be easily compensated by slightly increasing the height of the six columns, barely affecting the manufacturing process.
The platform is provided with the required stability without the need for an active or adaptive ballasting system, thereby reducing the complexity of the on-board systems and the associated operation and maintenance requirements.