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Tubular wind turbine foundation much quieter to install offshore

Effects of Noise on Wildlife, Ocean, Wind turbines Add comments

As countries around the world gear up to expand offshore wind development, one of the major concerns of ocean biologists is the exceedingly loud noise of pile driving during construction. Studies suggest that some ocean species move at least 20km from turbine construction areas, and in areas with lots of planned construction (such as the North Sea), it’s possible that large swatches of shoreline could be impacted each summer for many years.

PREONmarine 2

A new mounting system from the French firm Vallourec uses a series of thin tubes to anchor three octagonal “feet”; these are inserted in to holes drilled only 20m into the seabed, rather than the 60m that piles are driven into the seabed, supporting the huge concrete foundations used in today’s standard construction technique.  Vallourec claims that construction noise is limited to about 75dB, as compared to pile-driving’s 200dB (though I suspect they’ve neglected to correct the 75dB for measurement in water; even the resulting 138dB would be a moderate noise by comparison to pile driving).  The initial press release and website does not give a ready sense of how the cost of the new “PREON Marine” system compares to traditional pile-driving and foundations.


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