(19)
(11)EP 3 313 721 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
03.04.2019 Bulletin 2019/14

(21)Application number: 16731939.1

(22)Date of filing:  27.06.2016
(51)Int. Cl.: 
B63B 21/50  (2006.01)
F03D 13/20  (2016.01)
B63B 35/44  (2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/EP2016/064804
(87)International publication number:
WO 2016/207427 (29.12.2016 Gazette  2016/52)

(54)

FLOATING WIND TURBINE ASSEMBLY, AS WELL AS A METHOD FOR MOORING SUCH A FLOATING WIND TURBINE ASSEMBLY

SCHWIMMENDE WINDTURBINENANORDNUNG SOWIE VERFAHREN ZUM FESTMACHEN EINER DERARTIGEN SCHWIMMENDEN WINDTURBINENANORDNUNG

ENSEMBLE ÉOLIEN FLOTTANT ET PROCÉDÉ PERMETTANT D'AMARRER UN TEL ENSEMBLE ÉOLIEN FLOTTANT


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 26.06.2015 EP 15174077

(43)Date of publication of application:
02.05.2018 Bulletin 2018/18

(73)Proprietor: Single Buoy Moorings Inc.
1723 Marly (CH)

(72)Inventors:
  • MELIS, Cecile
    98000 Monaco (FR)
  • BAUDUIN, Christian Raymond
    98000 Monaco (FR)
  • CAILLE, Francois
    98000 Monaco (FR)

(74)Representative: Nederlandsch Octrooibureau 
P.O. Box 29720
2502 LS The Hague
2502 LS The Hague (NL)


(56)References cited: : 
WO-A1-2009/064737
US-B2- 8 692 401
US-A1- 2012 304 911
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    Field of the invention



    [0001] The invention relates to a floating wind turbine assembly, comprising a floating platform and a wind turbine arranged on top of the floating platform, the wind turbine having a mast with a mast axis, of which a lower end is connected to the floating platform, and a nacelle arranged on top of the mast, wherein the floating platform is connected to the seabed with a plurality of tensioned mooring lines, wherein the mooring lines each comprise a mooring line axis extending in a longitudinal direction of the mooring line. The invention also relates to a method for mooring such a floating wind turbine assembly.

    Background of the invention



    [0002] Such floating wind turbine assemblies are known from, for instance, WO 2015/048147 A1, WO 2009/064737 A1, KR 101488292, WO 2014/140653 A1, EP 2743170 A1, WO 2013/084632 A1, CN 102392796 A, US 2012/103244 A1, WO 2009/131826 A2 or US 2008/240864 A1.

    [0003] In general, there are four categories of floater types to support floating wind turbines, each inspired by existing oil and gas concepts:
    1. 1. Semi-type
    2. 2. Spar/deep draft type
    3. 3. Barge type
    4. 4. Tension Leg Platform (TLP)


    [0004] The types which can operate only in limited water depth, like articulated towers, are not listed above.

    [0005] The main challenge of supporting a wind turbine, however, differs from supporting equipment topside, such as the case with drilling or mooring equipment. First of all, the device being supported, i.e. the turbine is slender and carries a significant mass at a large elevation above the floater keel, elevating the center of gravity of the whole object. This tends to make the floater unstable.

    [0006] In operational conditions (when the turbine is producing power), a large thrust force is exerted at the nacelle elevation, i.e. high above the sea level. This will tend to give a significant overturning moment at the turbine connection to the floater.

    [0007] All the concepts which have been patented so far are trying to limit the pitch/roll which is induced by this overturning moment, as it is the most demanding constraint imposed by turbine manufacturers.

    [0008] The restoring in pitch/roll of a floater is proportional to its metacentric height, GM, which is the distance between the center of gravity G and its metacenter M. The higher the GM, the more stable the floater is.

    [0009] For category 1, the semi-type, stability is achieved by elevating the metacenter M by putting water plane area far from the center of rotation. This will give in turn restoring on the pitch/roll degrees of freedom.

    [0010] For category 2, spar or deep draft type, stability is achieved by lowering the center of gravity G. These structures also tend to lower the level of loading induced by waves by presenting small volumes close to the water surface.

    [0011] For category 3, barge type, which are relatively large structures giving them large water plane area.

    [0012] For category 4, TLP, there is a clear advantage in terms of motion performance and stability, as both heave, pitch and roll degrees of freedom are restrained. Stability in heave is obtained through putting a large buoyancy below the water surface and counteracting it with large tensions in the mooring system. For rotational stability, overturning moment is balanced by a difference in tensions in the legs. This may hold for a TLP with three groups of legs, but the same reasoning is valid with four or even more groups of legs.

    [0013] An object of the present invention is to provide a floating wind turbine assembly, in particular of the TLP type, having improved stability, in particular when a large thrust force is exerted at the nacelle elevation.

    Summary of the invention



    [0014] Hereto, according to the invention, each mooring line (8) comprises an incremental tensioning sytem acting on the mooring lines in such a way that the buoancy tanks (13) are submerged.

    [0015] By gradually tensioning of the mooring legs, the radial buoyancy tanks are submerged and the hydrostatic stability conferred by the buoyancy tanks piercing the water surface, is progressively transferred to the mooring legs.

    [0016] This stability of the floating structure, prior to its fixation to the sea bed, is conferred primarily by the radial tanks. As for a cataraman type hull, the fact that the buoyancy tanks pierce the sea surface over a waterplane area, S, at a distance, d, from the axis of rotation, induces a resistance to rotation that is proportional to Sxd2. The larger the span of the radial buoyancy tanks, the larger will be the resistance to overturning. To a lesser extent, the truss structure and/or the central tank, if they pierce the sea surface, also contribute to the stability in the towing configuration. This stability is usually termed as hydrostatics stability, as opposed to mooring stability, conferred by the tensioned mooring lines when the floater is in an operational configuration.

    [0017] In an embodiment,the mooring line axes intersect each other at a crossing position on the mast axis and at an elevation level at or above the nacelle.

    [0018] The invention is a novel way of mooring a TLP type floater supporting a wind turbine. The mooring lines, which can be made indifferently of tendons, chain, wire or synthetic rope, are attached at an angle instead of being vertical.

    [0019] The invention proposed here is inspired by the TLP concept but addresses the specific loading exerted by a wind turbine and the specific constraint of motion performance at the nacelle. Instead of mooring the floater by vertical legs, the legs are arranged at an angle with respect to the vertical, so that their crossing point on the mast axis occurs at an elevation level at or above the nacelle.

    [0020] The novelty of the invention is the way the legs are arranged with respect to the structure. Compared to a classical vertical-leg TLP, it enables to tune the position of a fixed point around which the whole object rotates. At this point, the surge and sway are restrained while the roll and pitch are compliant, making it different from the conventional behaviour of a TLP. Also, this enables to respond optimally to the specific loading and constraints imposed by a wind turbine.

    [0021] Although the roll and pitch degrees of freedom (DOF) are compliant, rotation occurs around the crossing points of the mooring legs. Unlike conventional TLPs, in this invention the crossing point is located close to or above the nacelle. This ensures that the actual roll/pitch-induced translational motion seen by the nacelle and the blades is small compared to other systems with compliant roll/pitch DOF and to conventional TLP's for which surge/sway motions are unrestrained. This enhances the aerodynamic performance of the wind turbine and reduces the need for complex control due to the relative wind velocity induced by the floater motions.

    [0022] This also enhances the accessibility of the nacelle for maintenance operations. Even in normal operating sea states, the possibility to land with an helicopter on a platform located at the nacelle level should be enabled by the low motion behavior of the floater and its mooring system.

    [0023] Another embodiment relates to an aforementioned floating wind turbine assembly, wherein the floating platform has a substantially horizontal truss structure having an upper level and a lower level, at least three coplanar buoyancy tanks, a central structure at a central position and three radial tanks substantially equidistant from the central structure, the truss structure connecting the buoyancy tanks at the lower level and the lower end of the mast being connected to the floating platform at the upper level, above the central structure. This leads to a particularly stable floating configuration in particular when the floating platform is towed to site with the wind turbine already integrated. The central structure may comprise a central (buoyancy) tank, if desired.Another embodiment relates to an aforementioned floating wind turbine assembly, wherein the mooring lines comprise at least three mooring lines.

    [0024] Another embodiment relates to an aforementioned floating wind turbine assembly, wherein the at least three mooring lines have lower and upper ends linking the floating platform to the seafloor using connecting means provided to receive the upper ends of the three mooring lines each at positions on the truss structure at the lower level corresponding to the radial tanks.

    [0025] Another embodiment relates to an aforementioned floating wind turbine, wherein the mooring lines are tensioned by a tensioning system such as to keep the floating platform lower than the water level with only the upper level of the truss structure extending above the water level. This tensioning system allows for precise adaptation of the operational draft and thus precise tuning of the floating characteristics of the floating wind turbine assembly.

    [0026] Another embodiment relates to an aforementioned floating wind turbine assembly, wherein the tensioning system comprises removable tensioning means provided on the truss structure at the upper level.

    [0027] Another embodiment relates to an aforementioned floating wind turbine assembly, wherein the floating structure comprises a tensioning line, extending along the truss structure between the connecting means and the tensioning means, connectable to the mooring lines and the tensioning means. Another embodiment relates to an aforementioned floating wind turbine assembly, wherein the mooring line extends from the seafloor to the lower radial tank and then deviated along the truss structure so that the connecting means may be located above water level and close to the tensioning means.

    [0028] Another aspect of the invention relates to a method for mooring an aforementioned floating wind turbine assembly, comprising the steps of:
    • quayside assembly (or dockside assembly) of the floating platform and the wind turbine to form a floating wind turbine assembly,
    • anchoring lower ends of the plurality of mooring lines to the seafloor at the desired seafloor connecting positions,
    • towing the floating wind turbine assembly to a desired wind turbine location above the seafloor connecting positions and the mooring lines anchored there,
    • connecting upper ends of the mooring lines to connecting means on the floating platform, in such a way, that the mooring line axes intersect each other at a crossing position on the mast axis and at an elevation level at or above the nacelle.


    [0029] Another embodiment relates to an aforementioned method, wherein, when a tensioning system is present, each of the plurality of mooring lines is tensioned using the tensioning system, such that the floating platform is lowered to a submerged position. Throughout the initial phase of this lowering process, the radial tanks and/or central tank as well as the truss structure are being submerged into the water, resulting in an increase of the tensions in the mooring lines. Once the radial tanks have disappeared below the sea surface, they do not ensure anymore the stability of the floater and turbine assembly through hydrostatic restoring. However, this stabilizing function has been gradually transferred to the mooring system. This method is novel in the way that is does not require any external means (temporary buoyancy, tugs pulling mainly horizontally onto the floater) to maintain stability throughout the whole submergence process. However, external means can also be used to complement the stability during the submergence process.

    [0030] This particular installation method enables to keep stable all along the tensioning process, allowing a smooth transition between hydro-elastic stiffness conferred by the radial tanks to elastic stiffness conferred by the mooring lines.

    Brief description of the drawings



    [0031] Embodiments of a floating wind turbine assembly according to the invention will by way of non-limiting example be described in detail with reference to the accompanying drawings. In the drawings:

    Figure 1 shows a schematic side view of an exemplary embodiment of a floating wind turbine according to the invention;

    Figure 2 shows a top view of the floating platform of the floating wind turbine assembly shown in figure 1;

    Figure 3a shows a side view of the floating platform being towed to the desired wind turbine location by towing boats; and

    Figure 3b shows a top view of the floating platform being towed to the desired wind turbine location by towing boats.


    Detailed description of the invention



    [0032] Figures 1 and 2 will be discussed in conjunction. Figure 1 shows a floating wind turbine assembly 1, comprising a floating platform 2 and a wind turbine 3 arranged on top of the floating platform 2. The wind turbine 3 has a mast 4 with a mast axis X, of which a lower end 5 is connected to the floating platform 2. A nacelle 6 is arranged on top of the mast 4, for instance at an elevation of 60 - 80 m, such as around 70 m. The floating platform 2 is connected to a seafloor 7 with a plurality of tensioned mooring lines 8. The mooring lines 8, such as tension or mooring legs as shown, each comprise a mooring line axis A extending in a longitudinal direction of the mooring line 8. According to the invention, the mooring line axes A intersect each other at a crossing position 9 on the mast axis X and at an elevation level at or above the nacelle 6.

    [0033] The floating platform 2 has a substantially horizontal truss structure 10 having an upper level 11 and a lower level 12. Four buoyancy tanks 13 are provided, A central structure 14 comprises a central tank 14 at a central position and three coplanar radial tanks 15 are situated substantially equidistant from the central tank 14. The truss structure 10 connects the buoyancy tanks 13 at the lower level 11 and the lower end 5 of the mast 4 is connected to the floating platform 2 at the upper level 12, above the central tank 14. Preferably, the mooring lines 8 comprise at least three mooring lines. The at least three mooring lines 8 have lower 16 and upper 17 ends linking the floating platform 2 to the seafloor 7 using connecting means 18 provided to receive the upper ends 17 of the three mooring lines 8 each at positions on the truss structure 10 at the lower level 12 corresponding to the radial tanks 15. The mooring lines 8 are tensioned by a tensioning system (not shown) such as to keep the floating platform 2 lower than the water level with only the upper level 11 of the truss structure 10 extending above the water level. The tensioning system comprises removable tensioning means (not shown) provided on the truss structure at the upper level. The floating structure 1 may comprise a tensioning line (not shown), extending along the truss structure 10 between the connecting means 18 and the tensioning means, connectable to the mooring lines 8 and the tensioning means. The mooring lines 8 may extend at an angle of for instance 5-30°, such as 10-20° with respect to the vertical. It is conceivable that each individual mooring line 8 extends at an angle with respect to the vertical being different from the extension angle of the other mooring lines 8. This depends on local weather/sea conditions, the structure of the floating platform 2, et cetera.

    [0034] The incremental tensioning system has not been indicated in detail but may comprise a chain locker interacting with a top chain part of the mooring lines 8, may comprise a winch acting on each mooring line, or may comprise a tensioning system utilisng hydraulic jacks. Suitable tensioning systems are described in WO2013124717, EP 2 729 353, EP 0 831 022, EP 1 106 779 or US 9,139,260.

    [0035] Mooring the aforementioned floating wind turbine assembly 1 may comprise the steps of:
    • quayside assembly of the floating platform 1 and the wind turbine 3 to form a floating wind turbine assembly 1,
    • anchoring lower ends 16 of the plurality of mooring lines 8 to the seafloor 7 at the desired seafloor connecting positions 19,
    • towing the floating wind turbine assembly 1 to a desired wind turbine location above the seafloor connecting positions 19 and the mooring lines 8 anchored there,
    • connecting upper ends 17 of the mooring lines 8 to connecting means 18 on the floating platform 2, in such a way, that the mooring line 8 axes A intersect each other at a crossing position 9 on the mast axis and at an elevation level at or above the nacelle 6.


    [0036] Preferably, each of the plurality of mooring lines 8 is tensioned using an incremental tensioning system, such that the floating platform 2 is lowered to a submerged position without recurring to external means to ensure its stability throughout the tensioning process. Stability is first ensured by hydrostatics when the radial tanks 15 pierce the sea surface. Then, along the mooring lines pulling process, stability is progressively transferred to the mooring lines 18, of which tensions are gradually augmented thanks to increasing the submergence of the radial tanks 15, the central tank 14 and the truss structure 10.

    [0037] When thrust is exerted at the nacelle level, a change in the legs 8 tension will also occur as a reaction. But because the resultants all cross at the point where the thrust is applied, this point is not moving. Therefore, the surge and sway motion at the nacelle 6 is also restrained. When wave loading occurs on the floating platform 2, it will surge to create reaction from the anchor/mooring legs 8, but the nacelle 6 will remain almost fixed. The mooring legs 8 can also be inclined but without crossing exactly at the nacelle 6 elevation. Then the fixed point is created at the crossing point 9. The optimal crossing point needs to be determined based on the site-specific meteorological and/or ocean conditions, that will determine the wave loading on the floating platform 2 and the wind loading on the wind turbine 3, and the design constraints of the wind turbine 3. According to the invention, the crossing point 9 may be located at or above the nacelle 6 location to ensure a stable behaviour in extreme conditions.

    [0038] Unlike conventional TLP's, a large span allows the floating platform 2 to be naturally stable in particular in towing and free-floating conditions. Therefore, the wind turbine 3 can be assembled at quayside and the entire floating wind turbine assembly 1 can be towed to site. Figures 3a and 3b actually show the floating platform 2 being towed to the wind turbine location by towing boats 20. Each towing boat 20 is connected with a towing line to a corner of the truss structure 10, with two towing boats 20 pulling the floating platform 2 towards the wind turbine location and another towing boat 20 providing a counterforce.

    [0039] Thus, the invention has been described by reference to the embodiments discussed above. It will be recognized that the embodiments are susceptible to various modifications and alternative forms well known to those of skill in the art without departing from the scope of the invention which is defined by the patent claims. Accordingly, although specific. embodiments have been described, these are examples only and are not limiting upon the scope of the invention.


    Claims

    1. Floating wind turbine assembly (1) comprising a floating platform (2) with at least three coplanar buoyancy tanks (13,14,15) at least three of which are radial buoyancy tanks (15), wherein the at least three radial buoyancy tanks (15) are coplanar and substantially equidistant from the central structure, the floating platform further comprising:

    a wind turbine (3) arranged on top of the floating platform, the wind turbine having a mast (4) with a mast axis (X), of which a lower end (5) is connected to the floating platform, and a nacelle (6) arranged on top of the mast, wherein the floating platform is connected to a seafloor (7) with a plurality of tensioned mooring lines (8), wherein the mooring lines each comprise a mooring line axis (A) extending in a longitudinal direction of the mooring line,

    a substantially horizontal truss structure (10) having an upper level (11) and a lower level (12); and

    a central structure (14) at a central position;

    wherein the truss structure (10) connects the buoyancy tanks at the lower level (12), characterized in that the lower end of the mast (4) is connected to the floating platform at the upper level (11), above the central structure (14), wherein each mooring line (8) comprises an incremental tensioning system, the incremental tensioning systems being adapted for acting on the mooring lines by tensioning the mooring lines in such a way that the buoyancy tanks (13,14,15) are submerged from a position in which they pierce the sea surface and provide a hydrostatic stability, to a position in which the buoyancy tanks as well as the truss structure (10) have been submerged into the water with the radial buoyancy tanks (15) below the water surface, during which submerging the hydrostatic stability conferred by the buoyancy tanks (13,14,15) piercing the water surface is progressively transferred to the mooring lines, so that, when in an operational configuration, the tensioned mooring lines (8) confer a mooring stability.


     
    2. Floating wind turbine assembly according to claim 1, wherein the buoyancy tanks (13,15; 13,14) are adapted for providing hydrostatic stability when the floating wind turbine assembly is in a towing configuration in which the buoyancy tanks pierce the sea surface.
     
    3. Floating wind turbine assembly according to claim 1, wherein the mooring line axes intersect each other at a crossing position (9) on the mast axis and at an elevation level at or above the nacelle.
     
    4. Floating wind turbine assembly according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the mooring lines comprise at least three mooring lines.
     
    5. Floating wind turbine assembly according to claim 4, wherein the at least three mooring lines have lower (16) and upper (17) ends linking the floating platform to the seafloor using connecting means (18) provided to receive the upper ends of the three mooring lines each at positions on the truss structure at the lower level corresponding to the radial tanks.
     
    6. Floating wind turbine assembly according to any one of the preceding claims, , wherein the tensioning systems are adapted for tensioning the mooring lines such as to keep the floating platform lower than the water level with only the upper level of the truss structure extending above the water level.
     
    7. Floating wind turbine assembly according to claim 6, wherein each tensioning system comprises removable tensioning means provided on the truss structure at the upper level.
     
    8. Floating wind turbine assembly according to claim 6 or 7, when dependent on claim 5, wherein the floating structure comprises a tensioning line, extending along the truss structure between the connecting means and the tensioning means, connectable to the mooring lines and the tensioning means.
     
    9. Floating wind turbine assembly according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the central structure comprises a central tank (14).
     
    10. Method for mooring a floating wind turbine assembly comprising the steps of:

    - providing a floating platform with a substantially horizontal truss structure (10), at least three coplanar buoyancy tanks (13,14,15), a central structure (14) at a central position, the truss structure connecting the buoyancy tanks, wherein at least three of said coplanar buoyancy tanks (13,14,15) are radial buoyancy tanks (15),

    - assembling the floating platform and the wind turbine to form a floating wind turbine assembly that can be towed with the buoyancy tanks (13,14,15) piercing the water surface,

    - anchoring lower ends of the plurality of mooring lines to the seafloor at the desired seafloor connecting positions (19),

    - towing the floating wind turbine assembly to a desired wind turbine location above the seafloor connecting positions and the mooring lines anchored there,

    - connecting upper ends of the mooring lines to connecting means on the floating platform, and

    - tensioning each of the plurality of mooring lines using an incremental tensioning system, such that the floating platform is lowered and the radial buoyancy tanks (15) are placed in a submerged position below the sea surface.


     
    11. Method according to claim 10, wherein the mooring line axes intersect each other at a crossing position on the mast axis and at an elevation level at or above the nacelle.
     
    12. Method according to claim 10 or 11, wherein, when the floating wind turbine assembly is in a towing configuration in which the buoyancy tanks (13,14,15) pierce the sea surface, the buoyancy tanks provide a hydrostatic stability.
     
    13. Method according to claim 10, 11 or 12, wherein said tensioning each of the plurality of mooring lines using an incremental tensioning system comprises tensioning the mooring lines in such a way that the buoyancy tanks (13,14,15) are submerged from a position in which they pierce the sea surface and provide the hydrostatic stability, to a position in which the buoyancy tanks (13,14,15) as well as the truss structure (10) have been submerged into the water with the radial buoyancy tanks (15) below the sea surface, during which submerging the hydrostatic stability conferred by the buoyancy tanks (13,14,15) is progressively transferred to the mooring lines (8), so that, when in an operational configuration, the tensioned mooring lines confer a mooring stability.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Schwimmende Windkraftanlagenanordnung (1), umfassend eine schwimmende Plattform (2) mit wenigstens drei koplanaren Auftriebsbehältern (13, 14, 15), von denen wenigstens drei radiale Auftriebsbehälter (15) sind, wobei die wenigstens drei radialen Auftriebsbehälter (15) koplanar und im wesentlichen gleich weit von der zentralen Struktur entfernt sind, wobei die schwimmende Plattform weiterhin umfasst:

    eine auf der schwimmenden Plattform angeordnete Windkraftanlage (3), wobei die Windkraftanlage einen Mast (4) mit einer Mastachse (X), von der ein unteres Ende (5) mit der schwimmenden Plattform verbunden ist, und eine Gondel (6) aufweist, die auf dem Mast angeordnet ist, wobei die schwimmende Plattform mit einem Meeresboden (7) mit mehreren gespannten Verankerungsleinen (8) verbunden ist, wobei die Verankerungsleinen jeweils eine Verankerungsleinenachse (A) umfassen, die sich in Längsrichtung der Verankerungsleine erstreckt,

    ein im wesentlichen horizontales Tragwerk (10) mit einer oberen Ebene (11) und einer unteren Ebene (12); und

    eine zentrale Struktur (14) an einer zentralen Position;

    wobei das Tragwerk (10) die Auftriebsbehälter auf der unteren Ebene (12) verbindet,

    dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass das untere Ende des Mastes (4) mit der schwimmenden Plattform auf der oberen Ebene (11) oberhalb der zentralen Struktur (14) verbunden ist, wobei jede Verankerungsleine (8) ein schrittweises Spannsystem aufweist, die schrittweisen Spannsysteme so ausgebildet sind, dass sie auf die Verankerungsleinen wirken, indem sie die Verankerungsleinen derart spannen, dass die Auftriebsbehälter (13, 14, 15) aus einer Position, in der sie die Meeresoberfläche durchdringen und für eine hydrostatische Stabilität sorgen, bis zu einer Position eingetaucht werden, in der die Auftriebsbehälter sowie das Tragwerk (10) in das Wasser getaucht sind, wobei sich die radialen Auftriebsbehälter (15) unter der Wasseroberfläche befinden, wobei während dieses Eintauchens die hydrostatische Stabilität, die durch die Auftriebsbehälter (13, 14, 15) hervorgerufen wird, die die Wasseroberfläche durchdringen, allmählich auf die Verankerungsleinen übertragen wird, so dass die gespannten Verankerungsleinen (8) in ihrer Betriebskonfiguration eine Verankerungsstabilität hervorrufen.


     
    2. Schwimmende Windkraftanlagenanordnung nach Anspruch 1, bei der die Auftriebsbehälter (13, 15; 13, 14) dazu eingerichtet sind, hydrostatische Stabilität bereitzustellen, wenn sich die schwimmende Windkraftanlage in einer Schleppkonfiguration befindet, in der die Auftriebsbehälter die Meeresoberfläche durchdringen.
     
    3. Schwimmende Windkraftanlagenanordnung nach Anspruch 1, bei der sich die Verankerungsleinenachsen an einer Kreuzungsposition (9) auf der Mastachse und auf einer Höhe an oder über der Gondel schneiden.
     
    4. Schwimmende Windkraftanlagenanordnung nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, bei der die Verankerungsleinen wenigstens drei Verankerungsleinen umfassen.
     
    5. Schwimmende Windkraftanlagenanordnung nach Anspruch 4, bei der die wenigstens drei Verankerungsleinen untere (16) und obere (17) Enden aufweisen, die die schwimmende Plattform mit dem Meeresboden unter Verwendung von Verbindungseinrichtungen (18) verbinden, die zur Aufnahme der oberen Enden der drei Verankerungsleinen jeweils an Positionen des Tragwerks auf der unteren Ebene entsprechend den radialen Behältern vorgesehen sind.
     
    6. Schwimmende Windkraftanlagenanordnung nach einem der vorangehenden Ansprüche, bei der die Spannsysteme zum Spannen der Verankerungsleinen dazu eingerichtet sind, die schwimmende Plattform niedriger zu halten als den Wasserpegel, wobei sich nur die obere Ebene des Tragwerks über dem Wasserpegel erstreckt.
     
    7. Schwimmende Windkraftanlagenanordnung nach Anspruch 6, bei der jedes Spannsystem entfernbare Spanneinrichtungen umfasst, die an dem Tragwerk auf der oberen Ebene vorgesehen sind.
     
    8. Schwimmende Windkraftanlagenanordnung nach Anspruch 6 oder 7, bei der bei Abhängigkeit von Anspruch 5, die schwimmende Struktur eine Spannleine umfasst, die sich entlang des Tragwerks zwischen den Verbindungseinrichtungen und den Spanneinrichtungen erstreckt und mit den Verankerungsleinen und den Spanneinrichtungen verbunden werden kann.
     
    9. Schwimmende Windkraftanlagenanordnung nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, bei der die zentrale Struktur einen zentralen Behälter (14) umfasst.
     
    10. Verfahren zum Verankern einer schwimmenden Windkraftanlagenanordnung, umfassend folgende Schritte:

    - Bereitstellen einer schwimmenden Plattform mit einem im wesentlichen horizontalen Tragwerk (10), wenigstens drei koplanaren Auftriebsbehältern (13, 14, 15) und einer zentralen Struktur (14) in einer zentralen Position, wobei das Tragwerk die Auftriebsbehälter verbindet und wenigstens drei der koplanaren Auftriebsbehälter (13, 14, 15) radiale Auftriebsbehälter (15) sind,

    - Zusammensetzen der schwimmenden Plattform und der Windkraftanlage, um eine schwimmende Windkraftanlagenanordnung auszubilden, die gezogen werden kann, wobei die Auftriebsbehälter (13, 14, 15) die Wasseroberfläche durchdringen,

    - Verankern der unteren Enden der Vielzahl von Verankerungsleinen am Meeresboden an den gewünschten Meeresboden-Verbindungspositionen (19);

    - Ziehen der schwimmenden Windkraftanlagenanordnung zu einem gewünschten Windkraftanlagenort über den Meeresboden-Verbindungspositionen und den dort verankerten Verankerungsleinen,

    - Verbinden der oberen Enden der Verankerungsleinen mit Verbindungseinrichtungen auf der schwimmenden Plattform, und

    - Spannen jeder der zahlreichen Verankerungsleinen mit einem schrittweisen Spannsystem, so dass die schwimmende Plattform abgesenkt wird und die radialen Auftriebsbehälter (15) in einer unter Wasser liegenden Position unter der Meeresoberfläche angeordnet sind.


     
    11. Verfahren nach Anspruch 10, bei dem sich die Verankerungsleinenachsen an einer Kreuzungsposition auf der Mastachse und auf einer Höhe an oder über der Gondel schneiden.
     
    12. Verfahren nach Anspruch 10 oder 11, bei dem, wenn sich die schwimmende Windkraftanlagenanordnung in einer Schleppkonfiguration befindet, in der die Auftriebsbehälter (13, 14, 15) die Meeresoberfläche durchdringen, die Auftriebsbehälter eine hydrostatische Stabilität bereitstellen.
     
    13. Verfahren nach Anspruch 10, 11 oder 12, bei dem das Spannen jeder der zahlreichen Verankerungsleinen unter Verwendung eines schrittweisen Spannsystems das Spannen der Verankerungsleinen derart umfasst, dass die Auftriebsbehälter (13, 14, 15) aus einer Position, in der sie die Meeresoberfläche durchdringen und für eine hydrostatische Stabilität sorgen, bis zu einer Position eingetaucht werden, in der die Auftriebsbehälter sowie das Tragwerk (10) in das Wasser getaucht sind, wobei sich die radialen Auftriebsbehälter (15) unter der Wasseroberfläche befinden, wobei während dieses Eintauchens die hydrostatische Stabilität, die durch die Auftriebsbehälter (13, 14, 15) hervorgerufen wird, allmählich auf die Verankerungsleinen übertragen wird, so dass die gespannten Verankerungsleinen (8) in ihrer Betriebskonfiguration eine Verankerungsstabilität hervorrufen.
     


    Revendications

    1. Ensemble d'éolienne flottante (1) comprenant une plate-forme flottante (2) avec au moins trois réservoirs de flottabilité coplanaires (13, 14, 15), dont au moins trois sont des réservoirs de flottabilité radiaux (15), dans lequel les au moins trois réservoirs de flottabilité radiaux (15) sont coplanaires et sensiblement équidistants de la structure centrale, la plate-forme flottante comprenant en outre :

    une éolienne (3) agencée sur le dessus de la plate-forme flottante, l'éolienne ayant un mât (4) avec un axe de mât (X), dont une extrémité inférieure (5) est reliée à la plate-forme flottante, et une nacelle (6) agencée au niveau de la partie supérieure du mât, dans lequel la plate-forme flottante est reliée à un fond marin (7) avec une pluralité de lignes d'amarrage tendues (8), dans lequel les lignes d'amarrage comprennent chacune un axe de ligne d'amarrage (A) s'étendant dans une direction longitudinale de la ligne d'amarrage,

    une structure en treillis sensiblement horizontale (10) ayant un niveau supérieur (11) et un niveau inférieur (12) ; et

    une structure centrale (14) dans une position centrale ;

    dans lequel la structure en treillis (10) relie les réservoirs de flottabilité au niveau du niveau inférieur (12), caractérisé en ce que l'extrémité inférieure du mât (4) est reliée à la plate-forme flottante au niveau du niveau supérieur (11), au-dessus de la structure centrale (14), dans lequel chaque ligne d'amarrage (8) comprend un système de mise en tension incrémentiel, les systèmes de mise en tension incrémentiels étant conçus pour agir sur les lignes d'amarrage en mettant en tension les lignes d'amarrage de manière à immerger les réservoirs de flottabilité (13, 14, 15) d'une position dans laquelle ils transpercent la surface de la mer et assurent une stabilité hydrostatique, jusqu'à une position dans laquelle les réservoirs de flottabilité ainsi que la structure en treillis (10) ont été plongés dans l'eau avec les réservoirs de flottabilité radiaux (15) sous la surface de l'eau, immersion au cours de laquelle la stabilité hydrostatique conférée par les réservoirs de flottabilité (13,14,15) qui transpercent la surface de l'eau est progressivement transférée aux lignes d'amarrage, de sorte que dans une configuration opérationnelle, les lignes d'amarrage tendues (8) confèrent une stabilité d'amarrage.


     
    2. Ensemble d'éolienne flottante selon la revendication 1, dans lequel les réservoirs de flottabilité (13, 15 ; 13, 14) sont adaptés pour fournir une stabilité hydrostatique lorsque l'ensemble d'éolienne flottante est dans une configuration de remorquage dans laquelle les réservoirs de flottabilité transpercent la surface de la mer.
     
    3. Ensemble d'éolienne flottante selon la revendication 1, dans lequel les axes de ligne d'amarrage se recoupent mutuellement au niveau d'une position de croisement (9) sur l'axe de mât et à un niveau d'élévation égal ou supérieur à la nacelle.
     
    4. Ensemble d'éolienne flottante selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel les lignes d'amarrage comprennent au moins trois lignes d'amarrage.
     
    5. Ensemble d'éolienne flottante selon la revendication 4, dans lequel les au moins trois lignes d'amarrage ont des extrémités inférieure (16) et supérieure (17) reliant la plate-forme flottante au fond marin en utilisant des moyens de connexion (18) prévus pour recevoir les extrémités supérieures des trois lignes d'amarrage chacune dans des positions sur la structure en treillis au niveau inférieur correspondant aux réservoirs radiaux.
     
    6. Ensemble d'éolienne flottante selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel les systèmes de mise en tension sont adaptés pour mettre en tension les lignes d'amarrage de manière à maintenir la plate-forme flottante plus basse que le niveau de l'eau, seul le niveau supérieur de la structure en treillis s'étendant au-dessus du niveau de l'eau.
     
    7. Ensemble d'éolienne flottante selon la revendication 6, dans lequel chaque système de mise en tension comprend des moyens de mise en tension amovibles prévus sur la structure en treillis au niveau du niveau supérieur.
     
    8. Ensemble d'éolienne flottante selon la revendication 6 ou 7, lorsque dépendante de la revendication 5, dans lequel la structure flottante comprend une ligne de mise en tension, s'étendant le long de la structure en treillis entre les moyens de connexion et les moyens de mise en tension, pouvant être reliée aux lignes d'amarrage et aux moyens de mise en tension.
     
    9. Ensemble d'éolienne flottante selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel la structure centrale comprend un réservoir central (14).
     
    10. Procédé d'amarrage d'un ensemble d'éolienne flottante comprenant les étapes consistant à :

    - fournir une plate-forme flottante avec une structure en treillis sensiblement horizontale (10), au moins trois réservoirs de flottabilité coplanaires (13, 14, 15), une structure centrale (14) dans une position centrale, la structure en treillis reliant les réservoirs, dans lequel au moins trois desdits réservoirs de flottabilité coplanaires (13, 14, 15) sont des réservoirs de flottabilité radiaux (15),

    - assembler la plate-forme flottante et l'éolienne pour former un ensemble d'éolienne flottante qui peut être remorqué avec les réservoirs de flottabilité (13, 14, 15) transperçant la surface de l'eau,

    - ancrer des extrémités inférieures de la pluralité de lignes d'amarrage sur le fond marin dans les positions (19) de liaison au fond marin souhaitées,

    - remorquer l'ensemble d'éolienne flottante jusqu'à un emplacement d'éolienne souhaité au-dessus des positions de liaison au fond marin et aux lignes d'amarrage qui y sont ancrées,

    - relier des extrémités supérieures des lignes d'amarrage aux moyens de connexion sur la plate-forme flottante, et

    - mettre en tension chacune de la pluralité de lignes d'amarrage en utilisant un système de mise en tension incrémentiel, de sorte que la plate-forme flottante soit abaissée et que les réservoirs de flottabilité radiaux (15) soient placés dans une position immergée sous la surface de la mer.


     
    11. Procédé selon la revendication 10, dans lequel les axes de ligne d'amarrage se recoupent mutuellement au niveau d'une position de croisement sur l'axe de mât et à un niveau d'élévation égal ou supérieur à la nacelle.
     
    12. Procédé selon la revendication 10 ou 11, dans lequel lorsque l'ensemble d'éolienne flottante est dans une configuration de remorquage dans laquelle les réservoirs de flottabilité (13, 14, 15) transpercent la surface de la mer, les réservoirs de flottabilité offrent une stabilité hydrostatique.
     
    13. Procédé selon la revendication 10, 11 ou 12, dans lequel ladite mise en tension de chacune de la pluralité de lignes d'amarrage en utilisant un système de mise en tension incrémentiel comprend la mise en tension des lignes d'amarrage de telle sorte que les réservoirs de flottabilité (13, 14, 15) soient immergés à partir d'une position dans laquelle ils transpercent la surface de la mer et assurent la stabilité hydrostatique jusqu'à une position dans laquelle les réservoirs de flottabilité (13, 14, 15) ainsi que la structure en treillis (10) ont été immergés dans l'eau avec les réservoirs de flottabilité radiaux (15) au-dessous de la surface de la mer, immersion au cours de laquelle la stabilité hydrostatique conférée par les réservoirs de flottabilité (13, 14, 15) est progressivement transférée aux lignes d'amarrage (8), de sorte que dans une configuration opérationnelle, les lignes d'amarrage mises en tension confère une stabilité d'amarrage.
     




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    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



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    Patent documents cited in the description