Integrated monopile installer

Installing monopiles efficient, accurate and safe

In the offshore wind market, the mutual aim is to reduce the total cost of energy to make this a source of energy truly competitive. The offshore wind market continues to grow at a rapid pace, and the Dutch offshore sector is taking a leading role in this development. IHC IQIP’s has been part of this ambitious sector from the beginning and has been involved in almost every offshore windfarm installed up to now and all over the world. 

Cost reduction
To realise the 40% cost reduction target for offshore wind and this enormous growth, extending the life cycle of the monopile concept offers great potential. The monopile has proven to be the most cost-effective foundation for offshore wind turbines. As offshore wind farms move further offshore into deeper waters, the diameter of monopiles is increasing as well. Installing these large monopiles is challenging, especially when taking environmental requirements into consideration. IHC IQIP’s plays a significant role in this development and make it possible to install even the largest monopiles.

Installing extra large monopiles
Build upon our years of experience with the installation of monopiles for offshore wind, we developed a solution that we now call the Integrated Monopile Installer. The Integrated Monopile Installer ensures low risk, efficient, accurate and safe installation of the biggest monopiles. It can be completely integrated into the installation process and throughout the complete process no human intervention is required. Since the beginning of this innovation an impressive 350 monopiles have already been installed and several projects are planned. 

The Integrated Monopile Installer reduces operational time in several ways, increases accuracy, while creating a safer working environment. The system includes features for inclination and rotation of the monopile. All elements together integrated in one system safeguard against the impact from waves and currents offering a longer installation window which contributes to cost reduction significantly. 

Proven technology of noise mitigation
The Integrated Monopile Installer is the only proven technology for noise mitigation during pile driving and complies with current international noise mitigation legislation, including the strictest German regulations in place for all German offshore wind projects. 

The Integrated Monopile Installer integrates several tools such as:

  • GPS to ensure smooth and accurate positioning
  • Rotation tool to offer swift and safe heading of the monopile
  • Inclination system in combination with the centraliser to guarantee accurate and smooth vertical positioning of the monopile while driving the pile
  • Guiding tool which is integrated within the main deck to offer fixed positioning and secure the proper inclination
  • Motion damping system to ensure a longer operational installation window and prevent large crane wire angles
  • Noise mitigation system (NMS) that guarantees noise mitigation during pile driving

Integrated Monopile Installer on the job

Developed with our partners
The development of the first version of the Integrated Monopile Installer, started in 2007 as a noise mitigation system only, called the NMS to create a solutions for an upcoming need to reduce noise exposure during pile driving. Together with TNO, IHC Hydrohammer began the discussion and share knowledge about underwater noise with the market. This resulted in several insights and IHC decided to take a leading role in this field. For IHC there were two main demands, the solution had to work correctly and had to be seaworthy. This process led to the development of the first NMS and together with launching customer Seaway Heavy Lifting, the first NMS was deployed on the Riffgat project in 2012.

The knowledge and experience gained during every project since then is transferred into the next generation to undergo a shift from being a ‘burden’ as an extra tool, into a fully integrated installation tool that reduces costs and increases productivity. This continuous development led to the Integrated Monopile Installer as it is today, designed conform DNV guidelines, and with continuous improvements added every day. 

Track record
Six offshore wind projects have been executed successfully with this system, including the recently constructed Gode Wind and Nordsee One projects. In total, more than 350 monopiles have been installed. On every project the Integrated Monopile Installer has proven to add value throughout the complete monopile installation process and enabling the application of extra-large monopiles.