Invited Speaker

Assoc. Prof. Philipp R. Thies

Assoc. Prof. Philipp R. Thies

College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences (CEMPS), University of Exeter, United Kingdom
Co-Director of Research (Renewable Energy)
Co-Director EPSRC Supergen ORE Hub
Speech Title: Nonlinear mooring systems for Floating Offshore Wind Turbines

Abstract: Mooring system performance directly affects efficiency and safety of operation process of floating offshore wind (FOW) concepts. Unlike traditional Oil & Gas platforms or vessels, FOW concepts require mooring solutions, which work with very high background thrust loads from the turbines. Mooring of such floating platforms in shallow water is a particularly challenging effort calling for new solutions. The combination of this requirement, with the different performance requirements for FOW concepts (spar, TLP, semi-sub), and the low target cost per MWh required for competitive energy, makes existing mooring systems a key limiting factor in the deployment of a future large scale FOW industry.

The mooring industry is very conservative and takes a long time to adopt new technologies. This is a challenge for the FOW market where innovations are required to solve immediate problems The use of active/passive shock-absorber components in moorings to improve position keeping of FOW platforms holds considerable potential to reduce mooring loads and cost.

The presentation will provide details of the development, testing and demonstration of innovative spring mooring components, designed to passively manage the dynamic loads through stretching, reducing the peak and cyclic loads, thus reducing the design requirements on anchors and cables.

Biography: Prof Philipp R. Thies is an Associate Professor in Renewable Energy in the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences (CEMPS) at the University of Exeter and Co-Director of Research. He holds a Dipl.-Wi.-Ing. degree in Energy- and Environmental Energy from the University of Flensburg (Germany) and a PhD in Renewable Energy from the University of Exeter (UK).

His research interest lies in the reliability engineering of renewable energy technologies with a focus on offshore energy. He has developed novel component reliability testing approaches, Bayesian statistical analysis approaches for situations of data uncertainty and has been deeply involved in several national and international research and industry-led projects seeking technology demonstration in the field and at large-scale in the lab. His work covers the breadth of marine renewable energy, incl. offshore wind, tidal and wave energy and aligns computational modelling with application driven design improvements and extensive planning, execution and evaluation of component reliability and testing campaigns. Through his work, he has modelled and physically tested several novel mooring systems and dynamic submarine power cables. The work on dynamic power cables has been awarded the IMechE Best Career Researcher Paper.

In current projects he is Principal Investigator on a Joint Industry Project (Carbon Trust) for Floating Offshore Wind to demonstrate Intelligent Mooring Systems. He leads Exeter’s contribution to the €45million EU Interreg initiative ‘Tidal Stream Industry Energiser Project (TIGER)’ and is PI on the Innovate UK funded project “Autonomous Robotic Intervention System For Extreme Maritime Environments (ARISE2)”, led by L3 Harris.

Internationally he has been PI on a collaborative EPSRC UK-China project with NOTC and the South China Sea Institute of Oceanology [EP/M019942/1] and is contributing to the EPSRC funded UK-China project “Resilient Integrated-Coupled Floating Offshore Wind platform design methodology (ResIn)” [EP/R007519/1].
Prof Thies is also Co-Investigator in the EPSRC/NERC Centre for Doctoral Training in Offshore Renewable Energy (IDCORE) [EP/S023933/1], training the next generation of offshore engineers and researchers. As one of the Co-Directors of the EPSRC Supergen ORE Hub [EP/S000747/1] he seeks to advance and champion the offshore renewable energy sector.