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Baltic Research Opportunities – Free of Charge

Following on the theme of my recent blog about the Maritime Conference in Poland a few weeks ago, I wanted to take the opportunity to expand on the offshore opportunities in the Baltic Sea.

As most of you will be aware, according to the goals of the European Union, maximizing the output of renewable energy by the use of offshore wind turbines can be seen as one of the major emerging markets for the decades ahead. By 2020, the EU plans that around 20 percent of the future energy demand will be met by renewables. In this regard, offshore generation will be a key factor.

In January 2002, the Federal Government of Germany decided the construction of three FINO research platforms (FINO1, FINO2 and FINO3) in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea, on three potentially suitable sites in the immediate vicinity of major offshore wind farms which are at the planning and application stage.

Scientific studies conducted on these platforms include but not limited to the following:

  • Measurement of wind strength, wind direction and turbulence in relation to height
  • Measurement of wave height and wave propagation
  • Measurement of the strength of sea currents
  • Monitoring of Seabed subsurface conditions
  • Lightning measurements

For the past 15 years, we have been involved as a technical advisor in running the FINO research platforms and conducted various tasks around these met mast stations.

On the platform FINO 1 we have been involved from the very beginning and set up the whole concept together with governmental bodies and the research institutions. For almost a decade we have been responsible for the operation and maintenance of the platform as well as the stakeholder management.

On FINO 3 we are the “research party” that undertakes the measurement campaign and publishes the results into the official wind database but also on dedicated conferences.

FINO 2 is located in the Baltic Sea. We operate and maintain the platform and  provide the stakeholder management since 2010. The FINO 2 is a platform now in the responsibility of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and started operations in 2009. The planning and procurement of the platform started in 2005, funded by the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety.

Our operational work includes safety and efficiency of navigation, safety of all persons working on the platform, and third parties as well as safety for the marine environment. In addition, we ensure the technical readiness of the platform, e.g. the proper function of deck equipment (power supply, data transmission, crane systems and other), electro technical equipment and safety elements. These are the basic requirements for undisturbed measurement and research operations.

Live images from the platform and the nearby offshore wind park Baltic 2 are available on the official website www.fino2.de.

A few days ago the English version of the homepage went live to enable our European neighbours to participate in the project but also to offer our platform to being employed by international researchers to run their research on it http://www.fino2.de/en/.

We are updating the homepage on a regular basis so that you will also be able to follow the operational tasks and the research objectives that we are undertaking.

What has to be highlighted is that our project manager Mirco is an excellent photographer!.and there will always be a nice selection of photos on the web page. Below colorful examples were taken by Mirco after a long working day and admiring the sunset offshore – just to give you a flavor!

Mona - blog pic 1

FINO 2 at night (DNV GL /Mirco Kaiser)

Mona - blog pic 2

FINO 2 full met mast view (DNV GL /Mirco Kaiser)

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