Offshore wind platform will use novel RPEB welding technique that saves time, construction costsKevin J. Harrigan | June 28, 2021
The world's largest offshore wind farm, located 78 to 180 miles north of the British coast, is currently in initial phases of construction and development. The Dogger Bank Wind Farm will generate 4.8 GW of electrical energy once completed, and could power approximately six million U.K. homes. The location is favorable because the water depths are suitable for traditional foundations and pilings, and remains out of sight for beach-goers.
Notably, the consortium, which combined talents to build the first phase, will use novel welding techniques that could reduce welding times by 80% and overall turbine monopile construction costs by 20%. Ebflow reduced pressure electron beam (RPEB) welding creates metal joints via the heat from a beam of high energy electrons. The metal substrates to be joined are assembled in a small, modular vacuum chamber, which allows vacuum welding to take place in-situ on large workpieces. RPEB would potentially displace submerged arc welding as the technology of choice for large structures, like wind turbines.
RPEB was developed by Rapidweld, the consortium who is constructing Phase A of the Dogger Bank project. The installation will include 95 wind turbines at the site, which are to be General Electric Haliade-X 13 MW turbines. They will be pre-assembled at Able Seaton Port, Hartlepool. The first installation is expected to occur in 2023.
Plans for Dogger Bank Phase B are still to be announced. A third phase was initially planned, but ultimately cancelled.