MARIN tests innovative barriers to prevent wind turbines and ships collisions

Three innovative barriers are being tested by the Netherlands’ Maritime Research Institute (MARIN) to prevent collisions between ships and wind turbines.

Following the incident with the Julietta D on January 31, 2022, an experimental investigation was launched. This stricken ship first collided with a tanker, then with a transformer platform and wind turbine foundation of the Hollandse Kust Zuid wind farm, which is under construction.

Approximately 2500 wind turbines will be installed in the North Sea between now and 2030. According to MARIN research, a ship may hit or drive into a wind turbine 1.5 to 2.5 times per year. A ship goes adrift in the North Sea on average 80 times per year.

In a workshop held in February, 20 experts from the Dutch offshore industry collaborated with MARIN to develop three innovative concepts as part of an open innovation project. Drag anchors anchored to a buoy line above water, a cleverly suspended net between fixed poles, and an anchored hook line underwater to catch the drifting ship’s anchor The three solutions have been scaled up and are being tested in MARIN’s Offshore Basin. The experiments will take place on March 18.

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