State of the art in corrosion solutions for offshore renewable energy devices




Due to their location at sea, offshore installations are subject to an exceptionally high level of corrosion. On 2 December Sirris is organising the masterclass 'Corrosion solutions for offshore renewable energy devices', which will cover the challenge of corrosion in offshore renewable energy and targets a broad audience from the entire offshore value-chain, including problem owners, solution providers, O&M companies and research institutes. Six speakers will give a presentation.

Corrosion causes billions of euros worth of damage every year. Worldwide, approx. 5 ton of steel are lost per second due to 'rusting'. The field of corrosion protection and management is very diverse and encompasses several elements such as the use of coatings, cathodic protection, corrosion inspection and monitoring. A multitude of norms, standards and regulations provide guidelines for professional corrosion protection and management.

Due to their location at sea, offshore installations are subject to an exceptionally high level of corrosion. This applies both to the surface area with an exclusively atmospheric corrosivity load and especially to the splash and submerged zones. Inadequate coating systems, cathodic protection or poor processing during the manufacture of the corrosion protection can cause corrosion damage in a very short time. It is therefore important not only to apply the correct protection measures, but also to frequently inspect and/or monitor the impact of environmental degradation.

(Source picture: https://windfarmaction.wordpress.com)

By looking at corrosion from both the challenge and solution side, the masterclass aims to facilitate communication between companies from both sides of the corrosion spectrum: those who see it as a problem and those who see it as an opportunity.

To illustrate this we refer to a project together with Parkwind. The company wanted to calculate the impact of corrosion pitting on the remaining life cycle of the monopile foundations of its offshore wind turbines. Thanks to a newly developed calculation tool and tests Parkwind could roll out various scenarios and better estimate the impact of the various assumptions on the remaining life.

During the masterclass six experts in the field will present their findings:

Hendrik Müller, a level III inspector with 17 years of practical experience in corrosion protection and numerous references in offshore projects, will give you a brief overview of the condition of corrosion protection systems on offshore wind turbines. Pictures will be used to show examples of typical damage, the cause of the damage and methods to prevent it.

Geert Potters from Antwerp Maritime Academy will teach us what we can learn from corrosion phenomena in ballast tanks. Ballast tanks are of great importance in the lifetime of modern merchant ships. Making ballast tanks less susceptible to corrosion can, therefore, prolong the useful life of a ship, but also of innovative floating wind substructures, thereby lowering their operational cost.

In order to optimise the design of offshore foundations and improve lifetime calculations and O&M, a great effort has been made on structural health monitoring (SHM). The focus of SHM has mainly been on monitoring the mechanical behaviour of structures (loads, vibrations). However, also corrosion monitoring can provide important insights. Development is still ongoing to make corrosion monitoring generally accepted. Jeroen Tacq from Sirris will give an insight into the current state of the art, techniques for monitoring and the road ahead.

Some, if not most parts of offshore structures are protected from corrosion by applying coatings. Over time, these coatings degrade and need to be refurbished. Costs can be greatly reduced by overcoating before the coating breaks down completely and corrosion becomes visible, as removing the corrosion products requires more surface cleaning. C-Cube will explain how its in-house developed EIS based measurement can be used to keep track of the quality of a coating and take action at exactly the right time, before actual corrosion becomes visible.

The presentation by Ainhoa Cortes from the Basque research alliance CEIT will focus on the concept of the WATEREYE Project. WATEREYE will develop tools for corrosion monitoring and RUL ('Remaining Useful Life-time') forecasting for offshore wind turbine structures. These tools will allow the wind farm operator to achieve more efficient inspections, enabling him to predict failure in the tower structure or coating degradation.

Dan Kuchma from Tufts University (USA) will present a new research project for the U.S. offshore wind regulator which is examining corrosion protection on the interior of monopiles and the role of perforations or flushing holes on both corrosion and marine growth.

Want to know more? Join us for our masterclass on 2 December!

The masterclass 'Corrosion solutions for offshore renewable energy devices' will be organised in the context of the Interreg project OPIN. It is free for OPIN members. If your organisation is not listed here, please fill out the following Membership Form. OPIN registration is quick, free and gives access to an international network of more than 400 members and activities dedicated to offshore renewable energy. 

(Source picture: EMEC Gallery  (emec.org.uk) and FLOATGEN (floatgen.eu))