Conference programme

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Delegates are invited to meet and discuss with the poster presenters during the poster presentation sessions between 10:30-11:30 and 16:00-17:00 on Thursday, 19 November 2015.

Lead Session Chair:
Stephan Barth, ForWind - Center for Wind Energy Research, Germany
Negar Akbari Hull University Business School , United Kingdom
Negar Akbari (1) F Azadeh Attari (2) Lucy Cradden (3) Samuel Bergez (2) Paul Doherty (2)
(1) Hull University Business School , Hull, United Kingdom (2) Gavin and Doherty Geosolutions Ltd. (GDG), Dublin, Ireland (3) Institute for Energy Systems,The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom

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Presenter's biography

Biographies are supplied directly by presenters at EWEA 2015 and are published here unedited

Ms Akbari has been working on the EU funded project, Leanwind, which aims to provide cost reductions across the offshore wind farm lifecycle and supply chain through the application of lean principles and the development of state of the art technologies and tools. She is currently a research assistant at Hull University Business School, UK, and her area of research is on assessing the suitability of ports and infrastructure for the offshore wind industry. She holds a Master’s degree in supply chain management from University of Maryland, USA.


Poster Download poster (10.49 MB)


Buoyant Gravity Based Foundations for Offshore Wind - Infrastructure Challenges


The concept of self-buoyant Gravity Based Foundations (GBF) has emerged as an alternative to the conventional lifted GBFs, with the initiative to negate the need for heavy lifting equipment, and expensive installation vessels. Self-buoyant GBFs can be towed to the windfarm site and lowered to the seabed by ballasting. The towing and ballasting operations can be performed using tugs, and hence eliminating the risk of potential deployment delays due to unavailability of suitable Heavy Lift Vessels (HLV) and cranes. However, the implementation of self-buoyant concept imposes different set of requirements, mainly on the ports and infrastructure. This study outlines the most important anticipated requirements, and investigates the suitability of existing infrastructure for serving as a departure port for the self-buoyant GBFs, by critical evaluation of a set of defined port characteristics.


The criteria imposed on the infrastructure are identified based on the results of a parametric study that has been conducted for predicting the suitable configuration, structural and hydrodynamic specifications of the self-buoyant GBFs in water depths ranging from 20 to 50m. A GIS application tool is developed where the existing ports and their main characteristics are mapped out. The GIS tool allows selection of the relevant criteria from the database, and making choices regarding the most suitable port options for the given set of criteria.

Main body of abstract

This study outlines the technical criteria for infrastructure that can facilitate industrial application of self-buoyant GBFs. Total weight and initial draft are deemed to be the parameters that impose the most demanding requirements. The existing supply chain capabilities in terms of available infrastructure are critically assessed by evaluating the harbour characteristics, which leads to the identification of the most suitable ports. Based on the overall comparison of the demands imposed by the foundation requirements and the resources available in the market, the aspects of foundation design with the most potential for improvement, as well as the most beneficial areas for infrastructure upgrading are identified. These are proposed to the industry, as a set of recommendations in order to address the logistic challenges that can impede the implementation of self-buoyant GBFs.


The most restrictive bottlenecks in the industrial implementation of GBFs are reported. Recommendations are provided with regards to the areas with the most potential for improvement, in terms of both foundation design considerations and infrastructure improvement. Conclusion is drawn as to whether or not the buoyant GBFs have the potential of becoming viable options in the offshore wind industry.

Learning objectives
• Outlining the infrastructure criteria that should be provided to meet the requirements for industrial implementation of self-buoyant GBFs;
• State of practice review of the competence of existing ports/harbours in fulfilling the outlined requirements;
• The most promising areas of improvement/refinement with regards to both foundation design and infrastructure upgrading are identified and reported as a set of recommendations;
• The study aims to create a clearer picture of the capabilities, bottlenecks, and potentials for improvement in the offshore wind supply chain, with regards to the self-buoyant gravity based foundations.