The Floating Foundation BRUNEL overcomes the O&M challenge – Innovative and Integrated Maintenance Solution

April 25, 2023 | Renewables | Energy Facts Staff Writer | 2min

Based on a holistic approach to floating wind, Fred. Olsen 1848 is developing a complete O&M solution and operational procedure for major component exchange that is optimized for the floating foundation BRUNEL. The BRUNEL Maintenance Solution will enable large component exchange directly at the floating offshore wind site in a safe and cost-efficient manner. This reduces project risk and avoids towing the foundation to shore.
Building on the experience and proven track record of Fred. Olsen related companies engaged in both bottom-fixed and floating wind projects, Fred. Olsen 1848 is designing a unique solution that features a barge fitted with both a jacking system and a compatible crane that attaches itself to the BRUNEL foundation. This removes the need for dynamic lifts, reduces complexity in replacement operations, and at the same time creates a working area on the barge to handle the components.

The geometry of BRUNEL, with a dual tower setup, a water depth clearance of ~10 meters above the pontoons, and a large water plane area inside the base triangle of BRUNEL, allows for a jack-up barge to enter from the side of the foundation, towed in by regular tugs, and mobilize for lifting operations.

The barge will jack down and affix on the top of the pontoons. This allows for fast mobilization and enables BRUNEL to remain in operational draft.

The development of the BRUNEL Maintenance Solution makes the BRUNEL foundation stand out with the ability to realize the potential of floating offshore wind today. In addition to having an integrated onsite Maintenance Solution, BRUNEL offers several other advantages:

Modular design based on tubulars
The modular design of BRUNEL based on steel tubulars offers low complexity and benefits from a competitive cost per fabricated ton. The low-cost steel tubulars utilize the existing global supply chain, and this modularity enables optimized logistics for the foundation.

Serial manufacturing
BRUNEL’s design allows for high-quality serial manufacturing in a safe working environment in controlled factory conditions. This facilitates a high deployment rate.

Sofie Olsen Jebsen, CEO, Fred. Olsen 1848, says

“We benefit from decades of experience of Fred. Olsen related companies, especially from Fred. Olsen Windcarrier and Global Wind Service, which has led to the BRUNEL Maintenance Solution. A floating foundation will never succeed unless it comes with a strong integrated solution that keeps the complexity and cost down for the O&M phase of projects. Therefore, this solution is an important step both in our development of BRUNEL and for the realization of floating wind farms on a commercial scale”.

Features & Benefits of the BRUNEL Maintenance Solution

Component exchange carried out on site with no need to disconnect the foundation and tow to port 
The BRUNEL Maintenance Solution and barge is positioned on the floating structure, the crane operates with the same motions as the floating foundation  
No dynamic lifts are required to perform the component exchange 
No modifications needed on the tower or WTG 
Building on proven technology and market-leading competencies within Fred. Olsen related companies  
In-field deployment of the crane can be performed by a regular offshore tugs or towing vessels
For numerous changes of blades, possibility for interface with wind turbine blade feeder vessels
State-of-the-art crane technology
About Fred. Olsen 1848:
Fred. Olsen 1848 is an innovation and technology company that focuses on development and commercialization of innovative technologies related to renewable energy.

We are a determined and multidisciplinary team with a broad variety of industry experience within the field of renewables, all working towards our goal to make sustainable energy more widely available to help combat climate change.

Innovation and curiosity define our DNA, and our ideas are based on continual experience and knowledge built up over 175 years of identifying and solving challenges, from when Fred. Olsen ship owning companies commenced operations back in 1848.

The main technologies of Fred. Olsen 1848 are aimed at solving some of the key industry challenges within emerging renewable energies. For more information, please see: