September 2022 marked an exciting milestone for BPT and the development of their patented floating substation design, as they completed an initial round of model testing at the Wolfson Unit wave tank, located at the University of Southampton. This was the first of three rounds of model testing for the project, which is a collaboration between BPT and the University of Southampton and funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Floating Offshore Wind Demonstration Program.
One of the main advantages of the BPT substation hull form is its ability to be launched and integrated with the substation deck at a shallow water quayside, before being towed to deeper water and ballasted down to its operational draft. This enables the substation to be built and launched at multiple sites across the UK, providing opportunities for local fabrication, regardless of the location of a floating wind development.
During the first model test the mass and damping properties of the unit were checked and calibrated with numerical models, and internal systems checked. The ballasting operation itself will be demonstrated in stages two and three of the model test programs, planned for later in the year.
The recently completed carriage facility at the Wolfson Unit has both improved the efficiency of the model tests and the accuracy of the results produced. “It has been a pleasure working with the Wolfson Unit on this exciting project, we have made great progress in the past months and are looking forwards to demonstrating the value that our technology can offer to the UK supply chain on future UK floating wind projects” said David Steed, General Manager of BPT.