Offshore Wind – A Certifier’s Perspective

Certification Bodies serve a very unique and important role in the development of offshore wind farms.  Of course 3rd party certification can always been seen as an important role in ensuring compliance to standards for any structure, but in offshore wind farms in particular, Certifiers ensure a uniform and compatible design between the two most important structural components of the Wind Turbine Generator (WTG), the Tower and the Foundation.  What is often overlooked or misunderstood is that WTGs have two main designers, the Turbine Manufacturer and the Foundation Designer, and that the structural responsibility of the two is split typically at the Tower bottom flange.  To further complicate matters, Turbine Manufacturers are continuously innovating their machines in order to stay ahead of the market and ensure the most efficient power production possible, resulting in very significant intellectual property rights which is heavily guarded.  As a result, the Foundation Designer is left trying to design a Foundation without really knowing how the loads are generated at the Rotor-Nacelle Assembly (RNA) and ultimately transferred through the Tower.  Certifiers, therefor, step into this role as an interface between the two, by confirming that the Independent Load Assessment for the site is not only correct, but also by providing further confirmation through a fully-integrated, independent load calculation using the confidential design and controller information from the Turbine Manufacturer.  DNV GL has been providing this service for more than 20 years now and has certified the vast majority of offshore wind farms installed to date, providing us with a very unique insight as to the history, challenges and opportunities for the Industry.  The goal of this talk is to highlight the role of Certification in offshore wind farms, speak a bit about the history of foundation technology development, including the likely foundations of tomorrow, and to share our thoughts on some of the opportunities and challenges currently facing the US Market.     


David Maloney is a Geotechnical Engineer with more than 13 years of experience, approximately 9 years of which has focused extensively on the certification of offshore wind farms.  Currently, David is the Country Manager for DNV GL Renewables Certification USA and is responsible for DNV GLs role as Certified Verification Agent (CVA) of Renewable Energy projects towards the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM).  David has a detailed knowledge of the efforts required to investigate, characterize and design an offshore wind farm, for both fixed-bottom and floating foundations.  David has also served as a member of the Independent Technical Review Panel for the widely recognized PISA joint industry project and has assisted in the development of both DNV GL and International Standards regarding Geotechnics and Offshore Wind.  As CVA, David was involved in the first successful BOEM acceptance of a Facility Design Report for the Cape Wind Project and is the current CVA Project Manager for the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Farm, the second ever wind farm to reach such a BOEM Acceptance.

Thursday, December 5, 2019 - 4:00pm
Kellogg Room (118) in E-lab 2