ERJ staff report (DS)
Lowestoft, UK -- A UK start-up believes it can prevent tidal scouring of the sea-bed around the base of wind turbines. The solution, it says, is a carpet of scrap tyres used as a mat around the base of the turbine mast. The company is Scour Prevention Systems (SPS), based in Lowestoft, UK.
Scour Prevention Systems is a joint venture between USL - an offshore diving company with more than 30 years' experience working in the North Sea on oil, gas and renewable projects; and 4NRg, a research and development company that specialises in the renewable energy sector. Both companies are based at OrbisEnergy in Lowestoft: the region's centre for offshore development companies.
According to Mark Aspinall, and the rest of the team at Scour Prevention Systems Ltd, the tyres are environmentally neutral and will also be effective for longer than the typical 40 year lifespan of the wind turbines. The company is planning a test at the Scroby Sands wind farm off the Lowestoft coast early next year. Each turbine can be protected with a mat of up to 900 tyres. The tyres will be sourced locally.
While scouring does not affect the structural integrity of these turbine posts, it does affect the vibrational response
The company said it understands how tidal flows interact with deep water piles and also with the shape of the tyres. The specific shape of the tyre slows the tidal flows next to the seabed and allows sediment to buld up inside the tyre.
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