Danish robot technology stands in the front row and in co-operation with companies and knowledge institutions, Offshore Center Danmark wants to strengthen this development and knowledge formation by implementation of this development project. In addition to finding technical solutions, the ambition of the project is that it shall create a basis for strengthening the subwater knowledge cluster which already is in the field.
The development project focuses on development of an AUV (Autonomous Underwater Vehicle) based system, where an AUV autonomous underwater robot carries out regular cleaning of fouling of wind turbine foundations and other offshore structures. A power supply docking station shall be developed and designed for the robot.
The AUV cleaning robot shall be developed to operate specific offshore oil/gas constructions and the typical 80-100 wind turbine foundations in a standard wind turbine farm. Cost savings shall be calculated in relation to the reduced loads, improved conditions of inspection and any life extending impacts by regular cleaning.
As a consequence an AUV cleaning robot, which can carry out regular cleaning of marine fouling, will cause minor loads of construction and will thus contribute to reduction of material consumption. Finally, the cleaning system allows optimal visual inspection of the constructions.
During the entire course of the development project, there will be regular focus on construction of an ”Underwater robot network” (Exchange-of-experiences group)among the participating companies. The network/exchange-of-experience group can be the beginning of establishment of a real ”Underwater robot knowledge centre”.
This technical development project will strengthen the Danish company competences in the field and not least it will also strengthen the commercial knowledge-and network formation of the offshore companies within underwater robot technology.
Offshore oil/gas and offshore wind energy belong to the most leading-edge and transcendent technologies of the world, including also in relation to use of robots above and under water. Underwater robots have undergone the same explosive technical development as industrial robots. Therefore today, the underwater robots are used to a great extent within offshore oil/gas and wind energy production during both installation, operation and maintenance.
The underwater robots are unmanned and are remotely controlled by an operator placed in a control room on vessels or platforms – consequently it is technically called: Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV). Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) is a particular branch of development within the underwater robots where the robots work ”on one’s own” and without remote control by an operator.
Through an attentive development project, it is wanted that just the AUV underwater robots are developed to carry out difficult cleaning tasks of platform structures and wind turbine foundations. Over the years, oil/gas platform structures and wind turbine foundations are fouled with algas and animals up to 25-30 cm. This marine fouling increases the load of the constructions significantly as the fouling increases the load of current and waves and in some cases it increases the weight. That is the reason why fouling of the constructions is regularly followed by the operators and cleaning is initiated, when deemed necessary.
- Development of docking station (January 2012 – December 2013)
- Development of control- and navigation system (January 2012 – December 2013)
- Development of mechanical cleaning module (January 2012 – December 2013)
- Development and test of prototype of AUV cleaning robot (January 2013 – December 2013)
- Regular establishment of an ”Underwater robot network” (August 2012 – May 2014)