MARLIN Modular Floating Platform for Offshore Wind : Concept Assessment

Project: Research



Joint applicant

  • University of Sunderland


"Project MARLIN will assess and develop a new concept for a modular floating platform system for offshore wind. The project will confirm technical and commercial feasibility of the novel method of construction and deployment of floating structures capable of supporting commercially relevant size wind turbines from ISO standard freight container-sized modules. Current demonstrator concepts in floating offshore wind require infrastructure of the scale unavailable or inaccessible in most of the world. Cost reductions needed to remove barriers to floating offshore adoption will come from development of methods not requiring large infrastructure and use of cost-effective mass manufacturing methods for making the construction modules.
The proposed modular approach, with specially designed smaller and lighter building modules that could be towed out to sea for assembly, is significantly technically different from the current concepts and demonstrators. The concept will resolve the issue of prohibitively high cost of construction, logistics, and deployment in floating offshore wind.
The main overarching research objective is to design the modules and the full structure, test those out as mathematical and physical models, carry out wave tank and sea conditions testing, and development of the manufacturing method. The project will deliver: design of a low-cost single module building block structure, design of a full modular configurable structure, creating physical and mathematical models, tank tests and sea test of physical models, analysis of manufacturing feasibility including a materials selection study and identification of coastal sites and new markets for adoption of the technology.
Two of the University of Strathclyde engineering departments, AFRC and NAOME, will work together with the other members of the consortium.
NAOME's role within the consortium is to develop a detailed hydrodynamic simulation model of the semi-submersible concept for two different types of floating modules - a passive one and a dynamic one which can have its buoyancy and orientation altered. Scaled models of the two module concepts under a range of different sea states representative of where the wind turbines will be deployed will be conducted. The results will be measured and analysed and a report provided to the lead partner on the findings from both tests and simulations.
AFRC's role is to develop a finite element (FE) model for the initial and refined modules, to determine their suitability in terms of structural strength performance under different load cases. Once the best configuration for the module has been determined, the AFRC will develop a FE model for two different configurations of the final structural assembly made with the selected module and simulate the performance of the overall structures. A report will be provided, summarising the findings. Due to the complexity of the project, the geographical spread of the partners and the close collaborative nature of
the project, AFRC will also support Frontier Technical in the management of the project."
Effective start/end date1/02/1731/10/17


  • EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council): £80,640.00

View graph of relations