Floating wind turbines: two very high-tech tools soon to be installed at sea

Off Gruissan and Port-La Nouvelle, a state-of-the-art seismograph will soon be installed. At the right of Leucate and Barcarès, a “Swiss army knife” buoy, also a jewel of connected technology and artificial intelligence, will be set up. Essential tools at the dawn of the experimental and then industrial phases of floating wind power at sea.

What is happening precisely on the seabed, in the waters and above the sea where in a few years the potential future industrial parks of floating wind turbines will be installed? If we know a little about it, thanks to the buoys and lidar installed for several months, even years, it is high time to know more and more precisely, because the timetable is accelerating, in accordance with the will of the State. .

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Of which act, the maritime prefecture of the Mediterranean has just published two decrees allowing the installation of two very high technology tools offshore, for one, of Gruissan and Port-La Nouvelle and for the other of Leucate and Barcarès.

150 sensors over 7.5 km

The first is described as “an innovative ultra-high resolution 3D seismic acquisition system”. The authorization concerns the installation of 150 seismometers equipped with a hydrophone and deployed, with a space between each of about 50 meters, on a line of 7.5 km. The deployment and recovery of these seismometers will be carried out by means of an underwater robot which will intervene at the bottom, along a line weighted by an anchoring device and equipped with a buoy submerged at a height of 30 meters. below the surface of the sea. This will be equipped with 6 underwater sound recorders. The deployment and recovery operations of the installations and the making of the recordings of the pilot test will be carried out from the Artabro vessel, flying the Spanish flag, and each of the operations will take place in the presence of the president of the regional fisheries committee or one of its representatives. Installation and surveys will take place from Tuesday, September 20 through October 7.

Hyperconnected Swiss army knife platform

The second device installed off Leucate and Barcarès is a measurement platform called Blue Oracle. It will be in place for a long period of 23 months, starting on October 1st.

The measurement platform consists of a central column and 3 peripheral columns and numerous pieces of equipment. Its mooring device is composed of an anchor of 7.5 tons and 15 m2 of footprint connected to a chain 250 meters long, itself connected to a synthetic line 60 meters long in waterline up to an intermediate buoy connected by a synthetic line 90 meters to the keel of a peripheral columns.

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A very nice “device” equipped with underwater and aerial cameras, including night vision, hydrophones, aerial microphones and radar detectors of avifauna, habitats for underwater fauna and sonars . An innovation that was the winner of a call for projects launched by Ademe (Agency for the environment and energy management) and funded by many partners.

It will provide elements of knowledge of capital importance which will be the subject of public restitution.“It is a unique float for the simultaneous characterization of birdlife and weather conditions using the power of artificial intelligence.” Thus, “this tool will facilitate the establishment of synergies by sharing information with stakeholders, especially fishermen”explains Ademe.

For sea users who wish to know the precise GPS data of this future equipment, refer to the website of the maritime prefecture of the Mediterranean: premar-mediterranee.gouv.fr

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