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Carbon Trust Unleashes the Hammer

Research project aims to reduce costs in the construction of offshore wind farms and at the same time reduce underwater noise during pile driving

Image: Carbon TrustImage: Carbon Trust

The starting signal for BLUE HAMMER has been given. The industrial companies E. ON, EnBW, Ørsted, Statoil and Vattenfall as well as Fistuca, Van Oord, Shell and Sif are participating in the Carbon Trust research project with a total of 3.2 million euros.

The BLUE HAMMER is designed to reduce the underwater noise level when driving in piles for offshore wind turbines by up to 20 decibels and to reduce fatigue damage to the pile by up to 90 percent. The researchers hope that this will lead to significant cost savings, since on the one hand there is no need for sound barriers under water and, on the other hand, no transition piece between foundation and plant will be necessary in the long term.

Jasper Winkes, Founder and Managing Director of Fistuca BV, commented on the importance of industry involvement in the project: “We want to help the offshore wind industry to further develop environmentally friendly installation methods and also lower the foundation costs. Therefore we are pleased that, together with the leading utilities in the world, the BLUE PILOT project aims to deliver the proof that innovations can drive down the LCOE even further. Only collaboration throughout the industry will make this possible."

How the BLUE HAMMER works

The BLUE Hammer consists of a large water tank with an open combustion chamber. The pile driving energy is generated by gas combustion, which accelerates a large water column. When the water column falls back to the bottom of the water tank, it slows down the transfer of energy to the pile. Due to the properties of the water, this deceleration occurs over a longer period of time than with a conventional hydraulic hammer, resulting in a quieter, smoother, but more energetic stroke.

Windfair Staff
Carbon Trust, Blue Hammer, offshore, foundation, transition piece, pile, costs, noise mitigation

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