Innovative in-Line Mooring Buoyancy Solution for Floating Wind & Surf Sectors

Source: 8/10/2023, Location: Europe

Specialising in buoyancy, protection and insulation solutions, Aberdeen-based Balmoral has a long and proven track record of successful buoyancy installations around the world.

A comprehensive range of ‘off-the-shelf’ products are deployed across a number of applications, from simple location markers to short term installation/deployment aids, while specialised mooring buoy arrangements bring unique characteristics and advantages to the floating wind and SURF markets.

Balmoral’s in-line mooring buoyancy system is designed to secure floating wind turbines and other structures to a seabed anchor whilst providing uplift to the mooring line. It can also act as a connection point between the bottom and top sections of the line while allowing trajectory and tension to be controlled within the water column.

Traditional mooring systems feature a pendulum fixture using a tri-plate and buoyancy module secured via a padeye at the base of the steelwork which gives an offset centre of buoyancy.

Balmoral’s engineers identified the biggest vulnerability of this system was fatigue failure due to the offset loads so, to mitigate against this and change the load transfer characteristics, developed a proprietary in-line mooring buoy.

The company’s in-line system features a dynamic connection interface that allows the different sections of the mooring lines to be tethered securely and responsively without adversely loading the buoyancy structure.

Central steelwork passing through the dynamic connection, with buoyancy elements mounted on either side, results in the key interface between components being at the centre of the assembly.

This brings a number of unique advantages that include movement minimisation, buoyancy load transfer isolation, fatigue reduction and a distinctly more stable solution for floating wind turbines, FPSOs and other subsea tether connections.

The company’s engineering manager, Craig Sharp, said: “Our robust design process considers the combination of material characteristics and associated design controls, derived from detailed analysis, which allows us to supply the most cost effective and fit for purpose solution.

“Our in-line mooring solutions are designed in accordance with all relevant industry standards while we have also worked hand-in-hand with clients to deliver their third party approved designs across a number of projects.

“As they are provided in modular fashion our mooring buoyancy systems can be configured to suit specific project uplift requirements.”

In-line mooring buoyancy benefits
Lower number of components and connections
Increased reliability with fewer potential failure points
Reduced risk of wear
Decreased dynamic loads on mooring points compared to traditional pendant line connection
Improved fatigue life characteristics
Easier handling with lift points acting through the centre of mass eliminating unwanted bending loads
Enhanced access to mooring connections for inspection during service life Balmoral’s buoyancy, protection and insulation products will be on display on stand 3D30 at Offshore Europe in Aberdeen, 5-8 September.

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