Research partnership to revolutionise floating offshore wind installations

The University of Plymouth is joining forces with Kongsberg Digital, a global provider of next-generation software and digital solutions, to create a new system that could revolutionise the UK’s floating offshore wind (FLOW) sector.

A Kongsberg K-Sim Dynamic Positioning (DP) simulator will soon complement the Marine Navigation Centre on the University’s campus. It will be used to simulate, test, and optimise marine operations throughout the lifecycle of FLOW installations, which will provide offshore wind project teams and crew with facilities where they can verify, test and, optimise installation and maintenance projects.

This will provide key insights into solutions that will increase efficiency, safety, and cost-effectiveness for the companies involved.

In addition to the research aspect, it will also be used to develop training for current and future industry professionals, helping to meet the national and international demand for such expertise in line with the global net-zero agenda.

Professor Deborah Greaves OBE FREng, professor of ocean engineering at the University of Plymouth, said: “This simulator could be a game-changer in the future deployment of floating offshore wind technology. As the sector expands, we need to develop innovative and effective ways of installing the technology in new and challenging environments. I believe our partnership with Kongsberg Digital, and the opportunity to learn from their experience and expertise, can make significant strides in helping us achieve that.”
The K-Sim DP simulator is built on Kongsberg’s DP technology and has the necessary fidelity and realism required for thorough studies, mission planning, training, and assessment of crew, where various challenging scenarios can be evaluated and optimised in a safe environment.

Andreas Jagtøyen, executive vice president of digital ocean, Kongsberg Digital, added: “Floating offshore wind turbines are seen as an increasingly important element of the renewable energy sector, which is a rapidly growing market. We look forward to cooperating with the University of Plymouth to support this industry with cutting-edge technology leading to improved safety and increased efficiency in offshore wind projects.”

The new simulator has been acquired through the University’s involvement in the Cornwall FLOW Accelerator project. Led by Celtic Sea Power, and supported by a grant of £4.8m from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), through the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Growth Programme, the project will support Cornwall’s ambitions to take a leading role in the global floating offshore wind sector.

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