Offshore wind power

The University of Stavanger is researching offshore wind power. The contributions of our researchers include the development of new designs for both fixed and floating offshore wind farms.

Horns Rev 1 in the North Sea. Horns Rev 1 in the North Sea comprises 80 wind turbines and has a total generation capacity of 160 MW. The wind turbines generate enough electricity for around 150,000 Danish households. The wind farm is owned by Vattenfall and DONG Energy. Photo: Nils Olav Nergaard.

Several decades' experience in maritime activities, offshore petroleum and wind technology mean that UiS has much to contribute in the development of fixed and floating offshore wind farms.

Offshore wind has an advantage over onshore wind turbines due to the stronger winds and more stable wind resources that prevail offshore. There is also more space for wind farms in marine areas.

Challenges include the greater investment costs associated with offshore developments. It is also more expensive to maintain and operate offshore wind farms compared with those onshore. Therefore, there are considerable opportunities for improvement and industrialisation in this field, and there is also considerable need for research and development.

Researchers at UiS draw on the Department of Mechanical and Structural Engineering and Materials Science's long-standing focus on offshore technology, maritime structures and wind technology. These skills are now being used to develop fixed and floating offshore wind farms. The academic community offers both Masters and PhD programmes and focusses on the following research areas:

  • Assessment of wind conditions and wind turbine design
  • Wind and wave loads for fixed and floating wind turbines
  • CFD simulation of energy potential and configuration
  • New concepts for offshore wind turbines, particularly floating concepts
  • Simpler and less weather-sensitive marine operations for installation and intervention for offshore turbines
  • Cost-effective operation and maintenance concepts for offshore wind farms
  • Design criteria for offshore wind farms