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Transformer installations in offshore wind power farms.

Anders Thomsen, M.Sc. Civ. Eng. & Anders Hjerling, Mech. Eng.
ISC Consulting Engineers A/S,
ster All 31, DK 2100 Kbenhavn ,
Tlf.: + 45 35 27 88 00 - Fax: + 45 35 27 88 44
Web Site: http://www.isc.dk

1.

Introduction

The present paper describes Transformer platforms provided for offshore wind power parks on
various environmental conditions and water depths.
In offshore wind power parks the transfer of energy from the windmills to shore is managed by
introduction of a transformer offshore platform installation. Electrical cables from the wind turbines are connected to a transformer and a single cable transmits the electrical power to shore
installments.
ISC has been involved in the development and design of a number of installations of this kind,
in Denmark as well as in Holland, Germany and in the United Kingdom.
The paper will describe a number of features around the development of these platforms related
both to the topside structure, which includes transformer and foundation concept applied depending on the water depth of the location of the platform.
The first of the transformer platform was installed at the Nysted wind power farm in Southern
Denmark in 2002.
The second and third project was Lillgrund in resund located just south of the resund bridge
and Q 7 off the Dutch coast, both installed successfully in 2007.
The most recent transformer facility in Denmark is installed at the Horns Rev 2 wind power park
just off the Danish West coast. The platform will be located 1km from the geometric pattern of
windmill configuration. The platform and windmill park was installed in summer and autumn
2008.
The most recent transformer platform projects undertaken by ISC are Gunfleet Sands which is
situated North East of the mouth of the river Thames and Walney 1 and 2 in the Irish Sea, both
UK wind power farms.
At present, September 2009, Walney Island I and II substations are under fabrication and will be
installed during 2010 in the Irish Sea, both substations are supported on jacket substructures
also designed by ISC on approximately 21 and 24 m water depth.
The design concept for the substations provides a safe environment for execution of operational
maintenance work on the substations and insures equipment and service personnel against the
harsh offshore environmental conditions. The concept is therefore to locate most of the equipment in an indoor environment and in most cases it will only be the main transformer cooling
banks which are located outdoors thereby ensuring sufficient cooling for the transformer.
ISC concept is based on a single ship build topside module with rooms dedicated and designed, for the specific equipment it shall host and as far as possible, possibilities for reaching
the different rooms without needing external transport. The controlled environment will ensure
optimal protection of the equipment from the environment in the lifetime of the modules and
thereby minimize faults and maintenance time.

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1. The Walney 1 & 2 Offshore Wind Power Farms


The Walney 1 & 2 Offshore Wind Power Farms are located in the UK Irish Sea off the coast at
Walney on a water depth of 21-24 meters. The capacity of Walney 1 & 2 will be 370 MW with a
possible increase.
ISC A/S has carried out technical tender documents, detailed engineering, and site supervision
for the offshore substation topsides and jacket substructures. The Substations are a closed type
equipped with two transformers placed centrally in a partly open area and with closed areas
housing the remaining electrical equipment, work shops etc. The four legged jackets extend
43m and 45m above the seabed and has a traditional layout with X-bracings. The piles are connected to the jackets by pile sleeves and are driven 50 meters in to the seabed. Soft mud layers
in the upper 3 meters of the seabed has required the application of 3-4 meter high mud mats for
the installation phase.

Figure 1: Walney 1 Substation, Irish Sea, United Kingdom.

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2. The Lillgrund Offshore Wind Power Farm


The Lillgrund Offshore Wind Power Farm is placed approximately 7 km off the coast west of
Klagshamn near Malm in Sweden and also 7 km south of Oresundsbroen the bridge connecting Denmark and Sweden. The wind farm consists of 48 wind turbines. ISC has performed
both initial and final layout and detailed engineering for the offshore substation for BLADT Industries A/S (DK).
The Substation is a closed type and has a circular layout. The transformer is placed centrally in
a partly open area and with closed areas housing the remaining electrical equipment, work
shops etc. An Architectural wind screen outside the walkway areas in glass has been applied.
Vattenfall AB is the owner of the Lillgrund Wind Power Farm.

Figure 2: Lillgrund Substation, resund, Sweden.

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3. The Baltic 1 Offshore Wind Power Farm


The Baltic 1 Offshore Wind Power Farm will be located in the Baltic Sea about 16 kilometers
north of the Darss-Zingst peninsula on a water depth of 18 meters. The capacity of Baltic 1 will
be 48.3 MW.
ISC A/S has carried out layout and detailed engineering for Ballast Nedam (NL) for the offshore
substation substructure. The substructure consists of a monopile (diameter 4.3-5.5 m) driven 33
meters in to the seabed and a Transition piece (4.6-5.8 m) grouted onto the monopile. Due to
the heavy weight of the substation and to the fact that an ice cone in concrete was required on
the TP, adding substantially to the weight to be supported, the TP and the monopile are connected through a conically shaped grout connection. This solution ensures that a safe transfer
of forces through the grout is obtained. The substructure extends 32 meters above the seabed
where it supports the topside.

Figure 3: Baltic 1 Substation substructure, Baltic Sea, Germany.

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4. The Offshore Wind Power Farm Horns Rev 2


The Danish Offshore Wind Power Farm Horns Rev 2 has a capacity of 209 MW.
ISC A/S has performed final layout and detailed engineering for the offshore substation topside
as well as for the four legged jacket. For the accommodation platform ISC has assisted DONG
Energy with layout and tender documents. The platforms are located on a water depth of approximately 13 meters. The substation consists of a closed building housing the electrical equipment whereas the transformer is located on the outside behind a aluminum windscreen. The
four legged jacket has a traditional layout with X-bracings. The jacket extends 28.6m above the
seabed. The piles are driven 30 meters into the seabed and are located within the four legs.
Energinet.dk is the owner of the Substation and DONG Energy AS is the owner of the accommodation platform.

Figure 3: Horns Rev 2 Substation and accommodation platform, North Sea, Denmark.

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5. The Gunfleet Sands Offshore Wind Power Farm


The Gunfleet Sands Offshore Wind Power Farm is located in the UK off the coast at Clacton on
Sea on a water depth of 8.9 meters. The capacity of Gunfleet Sands 1 will be 108 MW.
ISC A/S has carried out tender documents, detailed engineering, workshop drawings and site
supervision for the offshore substation topside and monopile substructure. The Substation is a
closed type with two transformers placed centrally in a partly open area and with closed areas
housing the remaining electrical equipment, work shops etc. An architectural wind screen outside the walkway areas in stainless steel has been applied. The monopile is similar to the ones
applied for the WT foundations but have been modified to accommodate the Topside including
incorporation of the oil spill tank in the top of the monopole. The topside on Gunfleet Sands was
installed in November 2008, on a monopile structure with a pile diameter of 4.7 m and at approximately 8m water depth.

Figure 3: Gunfleet Sands Substation, North Sea, United Kingdom.

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