Services

As well as the technology, Universal Foundation provides design, project management and engineering expertise as well as offering holistic solutions for their Mono Bucket foundation, working alongside fellow Fred. Olsen related companies or third party contractors for fabrication and installation.

Design

Universal Foundation has developed a robust procedure certified by both DNV and Lloyd’s Register, to design the optimal Mono Bucket foundation for the client’s site conditions. From the design basis criteria provided by our clients or partners – including turbine loads, met. ocean data, geotechnical properties and other design relevant site specific data – Universal Foundation drives the design process from the delivery of a design brief, preliminary design and detailed design, before final handover to fabrication.

The company holds unique in-house competencies, particularly regarding soil/structure interface for suction buckets, based on more than 15 years of R&D work in both industrial and academic environment settings, through connections with industry partners and Aalborg University and valuable rigorous testing and commercial projects.

Fabrication

Fabrication of the Mono Bucket utilises simple and proven production techniques. The foundation dimensions are optimised for manufacturing by the existing supply chain for both towers and other foundation structures.

Supply chain constraints are considered in the design process, with Universal Foundation engaging with fabricators at an early stage. This ensures that the design is fit for fabrication and that fabricators can handle high volume manufacturing without the need to invest heavily in new facilities and equipment.

The design process strikes a balance between purpose-made and site-specific foundation structures and a standardised and modularised foundation. Total cost optimisation is the driver for the final solution.

Universal Foundation used its well-established connection with Fred. Olsen related company Harland & Wolff to manufacture two foundations for the Dogger Bank project. Third party fabricators Bladt Industries and Nicon Industries delivered the foundations for earlier projects respectively.

Universal Foundation engages with the competitive market and always opts for the most cost efficient fabrication solution, taking into consideration factors such as fabrication requirements, transport, risk, HSE and quality.

We invite interested fabricators to get involved in our on-going supplier development programme as we seek to secure capacity for large-scale future projects.

Installation

The Mono Bucket is designed with simple, flexible and cost effective installation in mind. The installation requires less marine operations and less exposure to offshore risk and timely delays, ultimately resulting in significant cost reductions. The noise free installation operation can be via a single lift of a crane vessel or floated out to sea. Both approaches have been tested and proven.

Universal Foundation designs bespoke and solid installation procedures and techniques, undertaken by a team of trained installation managers, who take full control and responsibility during the critical suction installation process. A specially designed suction pump unit is provided for installation and this is safely recovered after successful installation and prepared for the next installation.

Suction is only applied during installation and hence upon reaching the final penetration depth, the Mono Bucket is fully equalised back to the ambient pressure level and will remain so, solidly embedded in the seabed for the duration of the wind farm lifetime.

By removing the need for costly items such as pile hammers, grout spread, noise mitigation tools, seabed preparation and drilling, the simple installation of the Mono Bucket reduces clients’ exposure to risks and delays caused by, for example, critical weather limitations for grouting and noise limitations for pile driving.

The integrated transition piece allows for immediate wind turbine installation which, when combined with the possibility of a preinstalled cable, enables the potential for power generation, and therefore revenue generation, to start within days instead of months or years.

These positive effects impact on our clients’ financial models and their return on investment is significant. The industry and the end consumer benefit from substantial reductions in their Levelised Cost of Energy (LCoE).

O & M

Universal Foundation can make use of a close relationship with fellow Fred. Olsen related companies Fred. Olsen Windcarrier and Global Wind Service, to provide dedicated operations and maintenance (O&M) services, including vessels, crew and service technicians.

Integral scour protection – The lid structure works as an integrated scour protection system. The need for a traditional scour protection campaign is reduced, or even eliminated, depending on site conditions.

No grouted connections – The Mono Bucket requires no grout as it includes an integrated transition piece. This eliminates O&M costs and the risk of grout failures.

Integrated maintenance-free corrosion protection system – This will last the entire design life of the structure.

No pressure monitoring – The pressure inside the bucket cavity is equalised back to the ambient pressure level following installation – no need for maintaining differential pressures.

Project Management

Universal Foundation offers a whole range of services across the supply chain in cooperation with Fred. Olsen related companies and external partners. In 2013/14 two met. masts successfully installed at Dogger Bank utilised five Fred. Olsen companies (Harland and Wolff, SeaRoc, Fred. Olsen Windcarrier, Global Wind Service). This included full responsibility of foundation engineering, fabrication, installation and O&M.

Universal Foundation also engages in sub-supplier contracts by offering a minimum design and suction installation package. This includes the foundation design and a team of suction installation specialists to control the process during installation. The design can be provided to a third party on a licensed basis.