Bergen Energy Lab (BEL)

Environmental monitoring for safe and efficient energy production

- When talking about renewable marine energy, understanding and monitoring the harsh environmental conditions is a necessity, says Emilie Dorgeville from Aanderaa Data Instruments.

Hywind demo outside Karmøy

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Emilie Dorgeville from Aanderaa Data Instruments gave an interesting presentation on the role of environmental monitoring to ensure safe and efficient energy production at Bergen Energy Lab on November 20th.

Aanderaa Data Instruments have, for several decades, worked on developing a large variety of environmental monitoring solutions. The Ocean and Coastal product lines provide solutions from the coastal zone to the deepest trench in the ocean, and the technology is used in everything from shipping to aquaculture.

- The development of the Aanderaa MOTUS Wave Buoys, launched in the spring of 2017, was motivated by the need to provide a cost-effective solution for real-time environmental monitoring from the sea surface. Navigational buoys designed for environmental monitoring presented an opportunity, but they are usually not optimized for wave measurement, Emilie says.

She further explains that in order to solve this, Aanderaa Data Instruments developed the MOTUS Wave Sensor. This compact, highly accurate and low power accelerometer-based sensor is capable of measuring accurately multi-spectrum directional waves from buoys that are not optimized to follow the wave movement.

The MOTUS buoys are being used worldwide in different types of applications, providing its users valuable long-term directional wave data.

- The advantages with the MOTUS buoys are their flexibility and scalability; they are able to collect wave, currents, water quality and meteorological measurements and provide data in real time, according to Emilie.

The data provided by the Aanderaa technology has proven highly valuable to the offshore wind industry, and two MOTUS buoys have been deployed off the coast of Karmøy close to the Hywind test site since February 2017. This provides information that can be used for planning and risk assessments and allows for the wind farm to operate more cost-effective.

- When talking about renewable marine energy, understanding and monitoring the harsh environmental conditions is a necessity. Combined with modelling, environmental monitoring would help to:

  • Define the worst-case environmental scenarios. This is needed to design the platform optimally.
  • Estimate the construction cost
  • Define an installation plan
  • Plan maintenance operations
  • Ensure safety and efficiency of operation

Operation and maintenance account for up to 30% of the wind farm costs. Data provided by the Aanderaa buoys allows for a more efficient vessel utilization, as correct environmental data are provided. Moreover, unnecessary inspections can be avoided as the data helps predict the weather windows for maintenance. This way, the environmental monitoring helps optimize operation, which is crucial to lower the costs related to energy production from the offshore wind industry.