The success of renewable energy has made wind turbines grow excessively and sent them off-shore. But when DONG Energy erects giant wind turbines at sea, the plan is to keep them there for years and consequently, quality assurance of the foundations’ steel and coatings is absolutely crucial for DONG Energy.
When they were to choose a supplier of foundations for the 102 wind turbines of the Walney Offshore wind farm in the Irish Sea, DONG Energy asked, as often before, FORCE Technology for assistance.
Quality assurance in China
While the turbines have grown, the world has become smaller and the turbine foundation may as well be produced in China as around here. Thus, quality assurance of shipments has become much more important to all of the manufacturing Denmark.
One of the potential suppliers for the Walney wind farm foundations, with whom we have conducted an audit, was located in Shanghai. The order for foundations went to EEW in Rostock – whose sub-supplier gets their steel structures produced in China!
Quite often, FORCE Technology is part of a wind turbine project right from the projecting phase, as was the case at Horns Rev II. After having assisted DONG Energy in choosing a supplier for Walney – do they live up to standards of i.e. education, welding inspection and coating? – DONG Energy chose FORCE Technology as building consultants for manufac-turing of the foundations.
This also applies to the total steel structure of the Walney farm’s substation, where the power from the turbines is gathered and sent ashore.
Certainty about quality
When steel structures are hammered 20 m into the seabed and tower 20 m up through the sea, knowledge about structural quality and paint is crucial. Such knowledge requires that the building consultants hold knowledge and experience with materials, welding processes and NDT, competences that FORCE Technology command.