IHC IQIP invests in the sound of silence

News published on
13 June 2019

IHC IQIP is going all in on noise mitigation. The company continues to invest in the development of new innovative noise mitigation solutions that support an environmentally friendly installation. With two new developments, IHC IQIP is now expanding its portfolio.

For many years, IHC IQIP has been a partner in creating renewable energy, by installing foundations at offshore wind farms in partnership with renewable energy firms. Working safely, and with minimal environmental impact, are among its highest priorities. That’s why IHC IQIP is continuously developing new tools that can further improve safety and protect marine life during pile driving. IHC IQIP already  developed a Noise Mitigation System, the Integrated Monopile Installer, which effectively reduces noise levels in accordance with the toughest German legislation. IHC IQIP is now looking to the future. It is developing new solutions that will comply with even tighter regulations in preparation for tomorrow’s offshore wind market.

PULSE – A NOISE MITIGATION SOLUTION FOR HYDROHAMMERS

One of its latest innovations, Pulse, reduces noise levels significantly at the source and creates an environmentally friendly installation. This dampening system (add-on) shall be positioned between hammer and sleeve and can be used on IHC IQIP’s existing large hammer fleet. Advantages of Pulse are:

  • 3 to 6 dB reduction on Sound Equivalent Level (SEL)
  • 9 to 12 dB reduction on Sound Peak Pressure Level (SPL)
  • flexible dampening
  • up to 60% reduction of fatigue damage in the pile
  • equal installation times.

Using Pulse in combination with a Noise Mitigation System, such as the Integrated Monopile Installer, ensures the installation of piles under the strictest German noise legislation, eliminating the need for a Big Bubble Curtain (BBC). This increases the efficiency of the operation, while no additional costs for a BBC are needed. In addition, the CO2 output will be reduced, using less BBC than in current piling operations.

WORKING PRINCIPLES
During current piling operations, the impact of the ram weight on the anvil generates a very high and short impact characteristic, which results in high levels of underwater noise affecting the marine wildlife. Pulse dampens the impact and noise with two hydraulic plungers. The volume in between the plungers can be filled with water. During pile driving operations, Pulse can be turned on or off by adding more or less water to the plungers, which controls the impact characteristic reducing noise at the source. Pulse has undergone rigorous testing at IHC IQIP’s test site and the technology is now ready for market deployment.

BLUE PILING TECHNOLOGY – INSTALLING THE BIGGEST MONOPILES

The BLUE Piling technology can be used to install the largest monopiles in the world and reduces noise at the source during installation. An additional benefit is that the prolonged pulse duration reduces the loads on secondary steel allowing more secondary steel to be welded onto the foundation prior to installation. This reduces the amount of manual handling and increases safety, as no hands on deck are needed.

WORKING PRINCIPLES
The BLUE Piling technology uses the impact of a large water mass over a long period to create a pushing force on the pile. As a result, the vibrations of the pile wall are reduced significantly. An offshore test performed with leading industry partners has already demonstrated a potential underwater noise reduction of roughly 20 dB (SEL). As part of the BLUE Piling development, several improvements to the technology will be tested and implemented, making the technology ready for the market.

By nature, the technology allows for very large pile diameters, making it perfectly suited for the next generation of monopiles.

Both Pulse and BLUE Piling technology make it possible to achieve an environmentally friendly foundation installation, by ensuring noise is reduced significantly at the source, and meeting the requirements of the strictest German legislation. With these new solutions, and in light of industry developments such as increased lifting capacities and larger monopiles, IHC IQIP is ready to handle the next generation of monopiles in tomorrow’s offshore wind market, installing foundations safely and in silence.