The Carbon Trust and Dutch technology company Fistuca successfully completed the offshore test of Fistuca’s BLUE 25M hammer. The innovative, new hammer is part of the BLUE PILOT, a large-scale demonstration project launched by the Carbon Trust and aimed at reducing costs and underwater noise during construction of offshore wind farms. The BLUE PILOT project is part of the Offshore Wind Accelerator and is funded with subsidies from the Topsector Energie programme by the Dutch Ministry of Economics.
The BLUE Hammer was developed by Fistuca in conjunction with industry partners E.ON, EDPR, EnBW, Equinor, Ørsted, Shell, Sif, SSE, Van Oord, and Vattenfall, investor Huisman Equipment and the Dutch Government. It is an iinnovationnnovative pile driver, designed to reduce the underwater noise level during piling. By using a large water tank a more energetic, but quieter blow for offshore installation is produced, reducing the noise level by up to 20 dB (SEL). The hammer is also predicted to reduce the fatigue damage during installation on the pile by up to 90 percent. This could not only remove the need for underwater noise mitigation, but also enable secondary steel to be pre-welded to the monopile before installation, potentially unlocking ‘transition piece free’ designs. Furthermore, by reducing the amount of time and number of operations carried out offshore, the innovative piling method improves health and safety and result in a significantly lower installation cost.
The offshore test was carried out on 13 August, using Van Oord’s offshore heavy lift installation vessel, Svanen, off the coast of the Netherlands. Data was recorded on both acceleration levels on the monopile as well as underwater noise levels in the surrounding area. The results of the offshore test will enable Fistuca to optimise the hammer for future commercial use. (Source: Fistuca)