Within this paper, recent developments in offshore wind energy are presented from the certification body's point of view. A focus is put on the design basis for the structure and the design-driving parameters within the environmental conditions such as wind and wave data, ambient temperatures and soil conditions.

Typical structural details are shown in examples in order to identify the specific considerations necessary for offshore wind farm design


Offshore wind farms will play an important role in the world's energy supply in the upcoming decades. In some European countries, the development of large offshore wind farms was started, e.g. the German government expects 20-25,000 MW of wind power to be installed offshore until 2030. Experience with the first offshore wind farms in Northern Europe has been gained and is implemented in the technological development. Plans for offshore wind farms outside Europe are developed e.g. in the United States, Canada and Korea.

Certification is an integral part to secure safety and reliability for offshore wind farms.

Germanischer Lloyd WindEnergie (GL Wind) is the precursor in Offshore Wind Energy. As early as 1995 Germanischer Lloyd (GL) published the Regulations for the Certification of Offshore Wind Energy Converters. In 2005, GL Wind published a completely revised standard for offshore wind turbines (OWTs). The new edition builds on experience from executed offshore wind farm projects or type approvals for turbines and results from EU-funded research projects. Some aspects of the guideline have been presented at the ISOPE 2005 Conference in Seoul.

Although the number of executed projects still is quite small, an insight of the upcoming challenges may be given as many project planners decide to involve the certification body at an early stage of their projects in order to clarify requirements and technical details.

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