First steps towards the digital twin for offshore wind farms: CDTI supports a project led by Navantia

The e-park project will receive seven million euros of European funds to execute a technological demonstrator for the operation and maintenance of offshore wind farms by using unmanned vehicles as well as for testing with a real prototype.

The CDTI has allocated seven million euros from the European Transformation and Resilience Plan funds to the e-park project, which has been submitted under the category of large companies to the Science and Innovation Missions program.

This project aims to develop solutions to digitalize the operation and maintenance of offshore wind farms by using unmanned vehicles. The ultimate goal is to have a digital twin of the wind farm that allows its performance to be modelled and to have software that collects all the field data in real time.

E-park project participants

The e-park project involves, besides Navantia as project leader, Abance Ingeniería y Servicios, Arisnova, Eolos Floating Lidar Solutions, Perseo Techworks and Sociedad Anónima de Electrónica Submarina (SAES). This is a collaborative project that will contribute to the technological development of the industry.
The system will consist of an unmanned surface vehicle (USV), a mother ship from which unmanned aerial and underwater vehicles will operate, as well as a remote control centre where all the information from the sensors of the unmanned vehicles will be centralized.
Navantia and Eolos carried out the first pilot and demonstration tests in 2021 to develop technology and services based on unmanned vehicles for the inspection and diagnosis of offshore wind farms. The tests were carried out in the port of Ceuta, where the unmanned vehicle for coastal surveillance (USV) "Vendaval", designed by Navantia Sistemas, has been operating since 2019.

"The application of USV and digital twin technologies to offshore wind will
reduce the maintenance and operation costs of wind farms and increase the
safety of professionals and the durability of the equipment. Offshore wind is a
growing market - in Europe alone, it is expected to grow from 12 GW today to
300 GW by 2050. By using unmanned vehicles and digital twins, we can
optimize wind farm site selection, estimate production, profitability, and
component performance, contribute to wind farm monitoring and infrastructure
inspection, improve personnel training, and support rescue operations,”

says Cristina Abad, systems business manager.

Cristina Abad concludes by saying, "This project is a clear example of the synergies between Navantia's different business areas".

In this regard, Abel Méndez, Commercial and Business Development Director of Navantia Seanergies, explained,

"We entered the offshore wind business ten years ago with a construction role, and we are expanding our scope towards a more extensive model, assuming full responsibility in engineering and even taking steps to offer high added value services to our customers, such as participation during the operational life of the farms in maintenance tasks, where projects such as the e-park can contribute very positively". The first phase of the project consists of the development of a technological demonstrator that, through simulation, reflects the capabilities and different missions including testing with prototypes in a controlled environment. Subsequently, it will be necessary to incorporate prototypes of the different components (USV, UUVs, UAVs and Control Centre) and carry out real tests in an offshore wind farm and, finally, develop the Digital Twin of both the Farm and the USV with all its elements. E-park is one of the 41 proposals selected by the CDTI out of 114 that were submitted. The jury considered it to be relevant research that proposes solutions to cross-cutting and strategic challenges of the Spanish society, improves the knowledge and technology base on which Spanish companies rely to compete, and is a stimulus for public-private cooperation. CDTI support will facilitate the acquisition of civilian capabilities that can be extrapolated to military systems in the development of simulation systems and remote operation of UXVs. The e-park is focused on an emerging sector in Europe and worldwide, that of offshore wind, as a means of driving the energy transition and combating climate change.

About Navantia:

Navantia is a world leader in the design, construction, and integration of military vessels with a high technological component, both for the Spanish Navy, which makes it a strategic company, as for the international market. Its business lines include the design and manufacture of combat and command and control systems, integrated platform control systems, firing directions, propulsion plants and life cycle support. With its commitment to diversification and renewable energies, it has also become a major player in the field of offshore wind power. Navantia belongs to the SEPI Group, a holding company which comprises a total of 15 public companies in which it has direct and majority shareholdings, with more than 78,000 professionals.

Naval and systems engineering leaders providing end-to-end solutions.
C/ Académico Juan Luis Roche, 2
Polígono Industrial Las Salinas de Levante
11500 El Puerto de Santa María (Cádiz)
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