‘Digital twin helps cut jacket costs up to 30%’

EU-backed Godess project involved Akselos and Lamprell [Image: Lamprell/Akselos]

Using predictive digital twin technology can reduce the steel weight and associated costs of offshore wind jacket foundations by up to 30%, an EU-backed design project has found.

Akselos was awarded €1.4m in 2018 to conduct the research and pilot project Global Optimal Design of Support Structures (Godess).

Godess has been used as the basis for proof of concept on one of Lamprell’s UK offshore wind projects and the company will now apply the findings to reduce the amount of steel it uses to construct its offshore foundations.
The results were achieved using Akselos’ MIT-licenced simulation technology Reduced Basis Finite Element Analysis (RB-FEA).

RB-FEA provides real-time data feeds that enabled Lamprell to accelerate design workflows where multiple design alternatives can be tested against thousands of scenarios in minutes, and in high fidelity.

The research will continue by creating a full digital loop from design to operations, bringing together parametric simulations, machine learning and optimisation routines to enable engineers to use relevant operational data to understand how designs behave under operating conditions, allowing for resilient, optimal designs based on real-world data.

Lamprell chief executive Christopher McDonald said: “We are delighted at the results we’ve seen with Akselos’ digital twins which provide a true step-change in our design process.

“With their state-of-the-art high-fidelity models, we’ve been able to reduce the steel weight in jacket foundation design and construction by up to 30%.

“This represents a significant reduction and saving; providing substantial value for our customers and wider stakeholders.

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“Through our Digital business unit we are focused on harnessing digital technologies to optimise multiple aspects of our operations.

“This is a great example of that strategy delivering results.

“The innovative ways in which we are able to offer such efficiencies for our customers is what will continue to give us a competitive edge.”

Akselos chief executive Thomas Leurent said: “Our mission is to speed up the deployment of mass-scale offshore wind by ensuring that the design process is as optimised as possible.

“The pilot project has shown just how much over-conservatism exists in the current design process, and the astonishing amount of value that can be realised by adopting emerging technologies like our digital twins.

“We look forward to working with Lamprell to help their customers achieve the same success as we’ve seen in this project.”

Lamprell is also applying the technology to the design of oil and gas installation foundations, and has seen a 10% reduction in weight so far.

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