Plymouth University, Kongsberg Digital Partner to 'Revolutionize' Floating Offshore Wind Ops

©Kongsberg Digital
©Kongsberg Digital

The University of Plymouth and Kongsberg Digital, a provider of software solutions to maritime, oil and gas, renewables, and utility sectors, have partnered up to create a new system they say could revolutionize the UK’s floating offshore wind sector.

"By combining cutting-edge simulator technology to provide a synthetic offshore wind environment in real-time and the university’s R&D expertise, the partnership aims to provide offshore wind project teams and crew with facilities to verify, test and optimize installation and maintenance projects," Kongsberg Digital said Tuesday.

As part of the partnership, Kongsberg's Dynamic Positioning (DP) simulator will soon be installed at the university’s campus. 

"The K-Sim DP simulator is built on the market-leading KONGSBERG 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 optimized in a safe environment," the company said.

K-Sim DP will be used to simulate, test, and optimize marine operations throughout the lifecycle of floating offshore wind installations. 

"This will provide key insights into solutions that will increase efficiency in both installations and operational maintenance, increasing safety and cost-effectiveness for the companies involved," Kongsberg said.

In addition to the research aspect, the simulator will also be used to develop training for current and future industry professionals.

'Game changer'

Professor Deborah Greaves OBE, Professor of Ocean Engineering and Director of the Supergen Offshore Renewable Energy Hub, 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, and the opportunity to learn from their experience and expertise, can make significant strides in helping us to achieve that.”

The new DP simulator has been acquired through the university’s involvement in the Cornwall floating offshore wind 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, it has been said.

The new facility will complement other strengths within the university, including its Cyber-SHIP Lab and an increasing fleet of Marine Autonomous Systems. The UK’s national Floating Offshore Wind Turbine Test facility, supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), is also based within the University’s COAST Laboratory. 

These, combined with the University’s global lead on research relating to United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 14 (Life Below Water), places the University as the leading institution for research towards a future of safe, and sustainable future maritime operations, the press release issued Monday reads.

“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,” commented Andreas Jagtøyen, Executive Vice President Digital Ocean, Kongsberg Digital.

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