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By 2030, 205GW of new offshore wind capacity is expected to be added globally, according to the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC). Though this growth is essential for the energy transition, it presents new and heightened challenges to the industry. From getting the energy to shore, the sea-bound commute for operations and maintenance (O&M) teams, or preventing and rapidly responding to a turbine fire in order to reduce the financial, environmental, and reputational impacts, the offshore wind industry has a new set of challenges that it must rise to.

New offshore projects are typically being built further and further away from shore, and feature significantly larger turbines, to capture the stronger wind resource. For example, offshore turbines cost roughly $1 million per MW, and will soon reach 300 meters in height, which is about as tall as London’s Shard building and New York’s Chrysler Building. If an issue does occur on one of these turbines, for example, if it catches fire, the financial loss is greatly increased. 

It is almost impossible to stop a fire that breaks out on an offshore turbine if you do not have fire suppression systems installed. Such a fire almost always ends in the complete loss of an asset. Offshore turbines are difficult to get access to for operations and maintenance teams and firefighters, who usually travel by crew transfer vessels or by helicopter. This means that fires will burn for much longer, as it will take hours to reach the fire, especially for projects that are built further offshore. For asset owners, investors, and the broader industry, this escalates the risk as the cost of fire has risen with the increased cost of the machines.

That is why we’ve designed a new product, XD Detection Tubing, to adapt to the new and increasingly challenging offshore and nearshore environment, and keeps asset owners generating clean electricity, driving returns, and preventing any reputational damages to their companies, and the global wind sector. 

Key Features of XD Tubing:

  • Heat and flame detection
  • Durable in a heavy salt air environment
  • Ensures operational stability & prioritizes health & safety
  • Minimum lifetime of 5-years

The product is launched following environmental exposure testing intended to simulate field service on the polymeric fire detection tubing for corrosion, creep resistance, and ozone exposure. The XD tubing performed ideally in the saltwater and zinc galvanic corrosion testing as well as elevated ozone exposure.

The testing found that the XD tubing material provides enhanced resistance in applications that have historically proven to be challenging to standard detection tubing. Moreover, creep resistance testing indicated that the likelihood of creep rupture failure as a function of normal services is low and that ozone exposure testing indicated no damage after exposure that mimics 5-10 years or more of real-world concentrated ozone exposure.

This new product can significantly reduce the financial and reputational damages associated with turbine fires. By utilizing the latest advances in fire suppression systems, industry leaders can rise to the challenge of the changing offshore wind landscape.

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