Honeymooring® is a game-changing improvement on mooring for floating offshore wind turbines. “Our solution represents a giant leap forward. We dramatically reduce the cost of floating offshore wind and stop seabed damage,” says Per Sørum, SVP of Business Development at Semar.
Floating offshore wind farms allow access to deeper waters where the world’s strongest, most constant winds are found. However, the technology is currently the most expensive of all the forms of wind power, reducing the competitiveness of floating wind in the overall wind energy market.
“Floating wind can become competitive with bottom-fixed wind by 2030, but the technology must mature even more to bring costs down,” says Sørum.
Honeymooring® is an eco-friendly, cost-effective mooring system for floating wind turbines. The name reflects the system’s unique design. Turbines in a floating wind farm are joined together by shared mooring components, giving the appearance of a honeycomb.
The solution takes an innovative approach to conventional catenary mooring, which typically involves securing each turbine to the seabed with three heavy chains and clump weights.
In contrast, the Honeymooring® design uses lighter, more flexible components such as buoys and fibre lines. These are suspended above the seabed but under normal sailing depth. Fibre lines rise up vertically from small anchors on the seabed and connect with buoys closer to the surface.
“Our design eliminates chains entirely and reduces the number of anchors per turbine from three to one for large wind farms. The horizontal, honeycomb fibre-line configuration also lowers the peak load on the structures substantially. This means that our solution will create less force on the turbines from wind, currents and waves,” explains Sørum.
By reconceptualising mooring, Honeymooring® will bring a wealth of benefits.
“Honeymooring® reduces mooring hardware costs significantly and overall capital expenditures by 10 per cent. Put another way, our solution will reduce floating wind farm costs by EUR 300 000 per megawatt of power produced. These are major savings,” says Sørum.
In addition, the solution will reduce installation time and operating costs through simplified mooring installation and maintenance. It will also eliminate the need for pretensioning associated with chains, a time-consuming and high-risk task for workers.
An equally important benefit is Honeymooring’s small environmental footprint.
“Our design reduces seabed erosion by 99 per cent because only a few small anchors touch the seabed,” says Sørum. Carbon emissions are reduced as well by eliminating the need to produce heavy chains.
The EU is scaling up offshore wind energy as part of its strategy to reach climate neutrality by 2050. Many countries are putting similar focus on wind energy to achieve energy independence and sustainability.
“We see an enormous future market for Honeymooring®. By driving down the cost of floating offshore wind, we will make a major contribution to the industry’s growth,” says Sørum.
The qualification of Honeymooring® is ongoing, patent applications are pending and Semar is now seeking commercial projects.
“We are inviting the industry to utilise and benefit from Honeymooring® in commercial projects, and we welcome direct contact. We expect Honeymooring® to be implemented in commercial projects in 2025. We aim to become the preferred mooring system solution for floating wind farms worldwide,” concludes Sørum.
Mooring system for offshore floating wind farms
Innovative design eliminates heavy chains
Reduces wind energy production costs and seabed damage