Fistuca is the winner of both the jury and the public prize of the Offshore Wind Innovation Award 2018. With an innovative maintenance-free connection technology – the Blue Wedge Connection – the company convinced the jury and the audience that the current issues with bolted and grouted connections can be tackled. The other finalists were TWD with a Hammock Seafastening and Qlayers with an automatic printing system.
At the Netherlands Offshore Wind Q-meeting, organized by Siemens and Van Oord, Fistuca was awarded both the jury and the public Offshore Wind Innovation Award for its new connection technology, the BLUE Wedge Connection. The jury noticed the large potential impact on total levelized cost of energy of applying the innovative connection instead of conventional bolted flanges. By aiming at eliminating OPEX and reducing CAPEX, the BLUE Wedge Connection convinced the jury of this significant benefit. The BLUE Wedge Connection is currently being tested in cooperation with TU Delft. These physical tests show that the technology is rapidly maturing. Jasper Winkes, Director at Fistuca, presented the technology and these results in a pitch to the audience. Subsequently, a public vote was held, resulting in the public Offshore Innovation Award for Fistuca. Fistuca is encouraged by these two awards to continue the development of the BLUE Wedge Connection technology. After finalizing the tests at TU Delft, the next step will be full-scale mock-up of the connection.
Qlayers: Smart coating system
The other finalists got a lot of credits as well. Qlayers developed an automatic coating system to apply the coating on turbine blades very accurately under controlled conditions, saving up to 50% of paint. Above all, the system checks and corrects itself. According to the jury, the innovation of QLayers addresses an essential issue to make coating of blades in serial production more efficient. The jury particularly appreciates the well-developed business model and regards the basic principle of reducing coating use under controlled conditions with smart feedback data, very promising.
TWD: Hammock sea fastening for monopiles
TWD designed a hammock to transport monopiles to their destination. The Hammock Seafastening is suitable for different diameters and ensures a better load distribution on the monopile than a saddle construction. This allows contractors to re-use this sea fastening for several wind farms. In addition, they no longer have to worry about monopile damage. The beauty of this concept is in its simplicity, says the jury. The concept responds to the ever-changing sizes of monopiles and the current way-of-working of tailor-made steel constructions. The system is flexible and technically credible.
Jasper Winkes demonstrates the Blue Wedge Connection during his pitch.
The finalists of the Offshore Wind Innovation Award (left to right): Jelmer Jacobs (TWD), Josefien Groot (Qlayers), Ruben Geutjens (Qlayers), Jasper Winkes (Fistuca).