Suction bucket jacket foundations
Suction bucket jackets form a key component of the EOWDC and underpin the facility's test and demonstration of innovation. The novel foundation type, a three-legged jacket foundation with suction buckets, support each of the 11 wind turbines. The game-changing foundations were installed in one lift, enabling faster and efficient installation.
How do the foundations work?
When the air and sea water is pumped out of the suction buckets, the foundations are anchored in the sea bed keeping the turbines securely in place. This installation is a virtually noiseless process. In twenty years time when the project is decommissioned the installation process will be reversed, removing the whole foundation.
The first of the 11 foundations was installed on Sunday 25th March 2018 and you can watch installation in action in this clip below.
World's most powerful wind turbines
The EOWDC has deployed 11 of the world’s most powerful single turbine models. There are two 8.8MW turbines and nine 8.4MW turbines. These 11 turbines produce enough electricity to power the equivalent of almost 80,000 homes when running at peak capacity. A package of innovations are being trialled at the EOWDC which are expected to significantly lower operational costs and enhance efficiency and reliability.
The EOWDC is utilising cutting edge 66kV transmission and cabling, making the north east the driver of this new technology. Advancing to next generation 66kV cabling to transport the energy produced from the turbines to the onshore substation boosting power transmission, improving efficiency and reliability.
The implementation of this cabling contributes to the offshore industry's cost reductions targets, improving lifecycle costs and lowering levelised cost of electricity.
Earlier this year Vattenfall and ORE Catapult formed an agreement to give innovators the opportunity to test and demonstrate new technology in real-world operating conditions at the EOWDC. Read more here.