FLOAT&M: Optimising operation and maintenance activities in floating wind turbines

The aim of the strategic Hazitek project, FLOAT&M (ZE-2021/00042), which is being developed between 2021 and 2023, is to offer a comprehensive solution focused on the operations and maintenance of floating offshore wind turbines. MUGAPE participates in this project by developing coating solutions for floating platforms that, on the one hand, increase the service life of the materials and, on the other, simplify and ease their maintenance operations.

The flourishing and innovative floating wind industry has become one of the key present and future options for renewable energy generation, offering a clear alternative for the reduction of CO2 emissions.

The main driving force of this project is to address the challenges that arise within the operation and maintenance (O&M) services for offshore wind energy developments. Improving efficiency, facilitating condition monitoring and reducing personnel interventions are critical to increase the competitiveness of the projects.

That is why, through the development of new technologies, FLOAT&M aims to take advantage of the know-how and experience gained in research and development regarding new equipment, such as drones, robots and connectors, digital solutions and new materials and also anti-corrosion solutions with the ai m to offer the offshore wind market a competitive technology-based solution.

The project is led by Saitec Offshore Technologies and, in addition to MUGAPE, other companies in the offshore wind value chain are participating, such as Aeroblade, Alerion, Egoa Energía, Sener, Nautilus, Ditrel, Vicinay Cadenas, Lumiker, Vicinay Sestao, Core Marine, Sidenor, Inalia and Navacel. It also has the collaboration of research centres such as Tecnalia, Tekniker, CEIT, Azterlan, MU, Sidenor R&D and Vicinay Marine Innovación.

Photo courtesy of Saitec Offshore Technologies.


FLOAT&M represents a unique opportunity for the Basque Country and highlights the strengths of the participating companies. In addition, collaboration is fostered that will enable Basque industry to gain an edge in the market.

The results generated by this initiative will increase the reliability of floating offshore wind assets, reduce the hours of non-operation, monitor the status of the wind asset allowing the implementation of improved operation and maintenance strategies, reducing the need for access to the floating platform,

The ZE-2021/00042 project has a budget of 4 M€ for the period 2021-2023 and is financed by the Hazitek Programme of the Basque Government, with support from the European Regional Development Fund.

The Basque SEAPOWER consortium will develop innovative solutions for the foundations, towers and auxiliary systems of high power offshore wind turbines

The SEAPOWER project held its second Consortium Meeting on 4th December at the headquarters of SENER in Getxo (Bizkaia) with the aim of continuing to promote the collaborative research and development of technologies and solutions for offshore wind power structures, towers and auxiliary systems for the new generation of high power wind turbines (10 MW+). The project has a budget of €5.3M for the 2019-2021 period and is funded by the Basque Government's Hazitek Programme, with the support of the European Regional Development Fund.

Wind turbines the same size as the Eiffel Tower
The wind power sector benefits from increased cost reductions as the wind turbines grow in size. In this respect, the offshore alternative does not have the logistical constraints implicit on land (with blade sizes that are practically impossible to transport by road) so manufacturers of wind turbines are immersed in a race to see who is capable of offering the market the marine turbine with the highest power.

Today, the leading manufacturers already have wind turbines such as the 9.5 MW V174 by MHI-VESTAS, the 10 MW SG 10.0 by Siemens Gamesa or even the Haliade X prototype by General Electric, which reaches 12 MW. To get a better idea, the latter is similar to the Eiffel Tower in height. What's more, the sector expects to reach powers of between 13 and 15 MW per machine by 2025.

This huge increase in power and size of the offshore wind turbines brings new challenges for the rest of the elements of the farms, in terms of the structural nature, such as the foundations (fixed or floating), the transition part and the tower, which are going to be subject to much higher loads, and the electrical equipment for power evacuation. Furthermore, all of this is in a harsh marine environment, with high corrosion levels.

The Basque wind power sector, which includes more than 100 companies and is one of the European references in this field, is directly affected by this tendency in many of the components and systems manufactured in the Basque Country.

SEAPOWER: Collaboration of 10 leading Basque companies in offshore wind power
In order to face this challenge, 10 Basque companies have decided to join forces in the SEAPOWER project to coordinate and look for synergies in the development of new offshore solutions. Moreover, it is expected that the project will also contribute to a better positioning of Basque industry so that it not only works under external specification by third parties, but so that it can add more value through integrated designs of solutions that incorporate its own innovation.

The project is led by the engineering firm, SENER, which will also coordinate activities related to the floating solution. The other leading Basque engineering firm, IDOM, will be responsible for the fixed solution, whilst two important companies in the manufacture of structures, HAIZEA WIND and NAVACEL, will lead the packages related to the XXL towers and the transition parts, respectively. The consortium is rounded off with ALKARGO, manufacturer of transformers; DITREL, developer of an innovative electrical connection concept at the base of the wind turbine; ERREKA, manufacturer of anchoring solutions for offshore wind power; JASO Tower Cranes, specialist in lifting systems; MUGAPE, expert in anti-corrosion surface coatings and NAUTILUS Floating Solutions, developer of its own floating platform concept. The consortium is also supported by two centres of the Basque Science, Technology and Innovation Network (RVCTI) -Tecnalia and Tekniker- as well as the Basque Energy Cluster.

Engineering firms + manufacturers = innovative solutions
One of the differential factors of SEAPOWER is that it is the first large scale collaboration in offshore wind power between the major Basque engineering firms and the leading manufacturers of structures and components. This relationship will enable the former to incorporate improvements in their proposals, whilst the latter will have direct access to the design fundamentals that will facilitate the conception, development and validation of new (and improved) solutions for the sector.

There are high expectations in terms of results. New numeric models that facilitate the definition of loads and the validation of designs integrated and innovative solutions for towers, transition parts, fixed and floating wind power substructures; a new generation of transformers and connectors for electrical evacuation at 66 kV; systems for access and elevation which can be integrated in the initial phases of the manufacture of large parts; and coatings for protection against impacts and biofouling appropriate for each structural element are just some of the solutions that aim to be developed within the framework of SEAPOWER. Not in vain, it is a question of sustaining the Eiffel Tower in the middle of the sea.


SEAPOWER has a budget of €5.3M for 3 years, supported by the Basque Government's Hazitek Programme.

The project kicked off in 2019 with a consortium made up of 10 leading Basque companies from the offshore wind power sector, headed by the engineering firm, SENER.

OFFCOAT. New anticorrosive system for wind towers in marine environments

Corrosion in a phenomenon that generates great concern in different fields of industry, since it directly attacks the materials, putting at risk the production systems and causing serious safety, economic and environmental problems. In the marine environment this reality is even more pressing, since by the direct action of the sea or the activity of the breeze and the marine fog, the corrosion processes in the metallic structures are accelerated.

The main objective of the OFFCOAT project is the development of an anticorrosive solution destined to Offshore systems, that achieve improve the efficiency of these systems and generate a lower environmental impact. That is, develop a solution with improved anticorrosive properties, good adherence and greater durability than the current protection systems. With that, the useful life of Offshore systems is intended to extend, minimizing maintenance tasks, and reducing the quantity of applied product obtaining improvements in its transportation and handling.

This initiative is led by the MUGAPE company, industrial SME that develops its activity in the field of surface treatments and that woks for a wide range of sectors, among which is the wind, with which it has been collaborating for more than 10 years. The partners that will carry out the research are CPT (research center of the University of Barcelona managed by the Fundaió Boch i Gimpera), with extensive experience in corrosion issues and the Technology Center of Miranda de Ebro (CTME) with a wide range of research into lighter materials, coatings and ecodesign.



The OFFCOAT (RTC-2016-5534-3) will be developed between 2016 and 2018 and is funded by the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness within the RETOS COLABORACIÓN 2016 call co-financed by the European Union through the European Fund of Regional Development (FEDER).


The Wind EUROPE Conference & Exhibition

The Wind EUROPE Conference & Exhibition will take place next 2-4 April at the Bilbao Exhibition Center (BEC). This event is the most important in Europe for the wind industry, being one of the reference events of the association at a continental level, with an average of 8,000 professionals attending from all over the world and around 400 exhibitors from 50 countries.

MUGAPE, on behalf of the Estalki Corporation XXI, that will share a stand with other members of the Energy Cluster, will present at the event its capabilities in the wind sector, making its Offshore solutions known.

The European project SEALANT held the closing meeting at CIDETEC.

The closing meeting of the European SEALANT project "Optimization through experimental design and industrial scale expansion of the sealing process in sulphuric acid anodizing treatments", in which INNOMAT COATINGS has participated, was held last June 26 at the CIDETEC facilities, with the presence of the Topic Manager Liebherr Aerospace of Toulouse.

The SEALANT project, which is part of the European CleanSky 2 programme, lasted two years. In addition to INNOMAT COATINGS, the SEALANT project consortium was made up by the company Titania, the University of Cadiz, CIDETEC and the Fundación Centro Tecnológico de Miranda de Ebro. The main objective of this project was to optimise a chromium-free sealing process for sulphuric acid anodising treatments as a more ecological alternative to chromic anodising (CAA) for unpainted aluminium parts. Although CAA has been widely used for its excellent performance, it is considered potentially harmful by European regulations due to the use of chemicals, which has led to the need to develop a product that complies with the European Union REACH regulation.


Last July 12th of 2018, CPT Director, Dra. Irene García Cano, was invited to the meeting conference “A new R&D funding management: the State Research Agency”, where she talked about results of the OFFCOAT (New anticorrosive system for wind towers in marine environments) project inside Retos Colaboración program. At this meeting conference, was got to know the recently created State Research Agency structure (AEI) as new fund agent for R&D system in Spain. This event, leaded by AEI director, Marina Villegas Gracia, was celebrated on 11st and 12nd July in Santander at Universidad International Menéndez Pelayo (UIMP) with the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities of Spain collaboration.


The OFFCOAT (RTC-2016-5534-3) will be developed between 2016 and 2018 and is funded by the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness within the RETOS COLABORACIÓN 2016 call co-financed by the European Union through the European Fund of Regional Development (FEDER).


K4-CIDETEC participates in the european project SEALANT that looks for ecological alaternatives for the aerospatial industry.

The aeronautical industry is faced with the challenge of replacing chemical substances that have a potential impact on the environment and in the health of the employees that handle them. The project is framed within the European program Clean Sky 2, which looks to improve the environmental impact of the aeronautical technologies.

Specifically, research covers new products for the sealing in anodizing treatments in sulfuric acid as robust alternatives to chromic anodizing (AAC), employed during decades in the aeronautic industry because of its excellent performance, but considered potentially harmful for the European norm about the use of chemical products.

Another of the project's objectives will be to optimize the economic cost and the environmental impact of the sealing process, complying in this way with the strict regulating norms as well as the European Union REACH (European Union Regulation concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization & Restriction of Chemicals) regulation. The challenge is in the search of robust technological solutions without compromising the benefits and product quality.

The consortium is led by the Andalusian company Titania and IK4-CIDETEC, as well as entities such as the University of Cadiz (UCA), the Foundation Technological Center of Miranda de Ebro (CTME) and the company Innomat Coatings.

Source: lainformacion.com

Estalki Group will be present in the IZB FAIR in Wolfsburg.

Estalki Group participates as a speaker in the IZB fair in Wolfsburg during the days 18-20 of October.