There is a tendency to higher power offshore wind turbines, leading to larger turbine towers (5 m diameter and greater) and a requirement for large diameter connection flanges between the tower sections and between the tower and foundation transition pieces. Currently, forged rings are specified, with inherently high cost and few suppliers worldwide. This leads to long lead times and higher costs for these strategic parts. RingMan will develop an alternative manufacturing route (using lower - cost cold rolled plate) which will enable the fabrication of large diameter wind tower flanges to be undertaken by our SME consortium members.
The project will enable the partners to commission:
- Development of high quality, low distortion, thick section electron beam welding fabrication and machining to produce flanges from readily available cold rolled steel plate material.
- Understanding of the flange property requirements and how these can be met by a fabricated flange leading to design tools to enable wind turbine tower designers to specify these products.
- Procedures for inspection that will aim to ensure that the parts manufactured meet or exceed the required performance properties.
More info at http://www.ringmanproject.com/index.html