Managing corrosion and biofouling of the offshore monopile supports for wind turbines
Tuesday, 5 May 2020
Webinar closed, recording available here
Two of the major challenges to operating in marine environments are biofouling and corrosion. Biofouling is generally considered to be undesirable, however these organisms provide important ecosystem services and there are opportunities to design marine structures that work in synergy with the environment. This webinar presents research that investigated a new concept for offshore wind monopile design that addresses existing corrosion problems within the interiors of the monopiles and also creates habitat for marine life. The approach is to introduce perforations that promote the free circulation of seawater, control corrosion by conventional cathodic protection design, and increase habitat for marine life. The concept was tested using 15cm diameter steel pipe at seawater test site at Port Canaveral, Florida. The results demonstrated that cathodically protected perforated steel pipe creates an environment with improved corrosion mitigation, water chemistry and a diverse population of settled and mobile organisms. At a time when the health of marine environments is under increasing pressure, there is an opportunity to design structures that enhance local ecologies and provide ecosystem services in terms of fisheries, nutrient cycling and carbon fixation.
Geoffrey Swain, Director, Center for Corrosion and Biofouling Control, Florida Institute of Technology
Dr. Geoffrey Swain is a Professor of Ocean Engineering and Marine Sciences, and Director of the Center for Corrosion and Biofouling Control at the Florida Institute of Technology. The Center is fully staffed, has a laboratory on campus, static and dynamic seawater test facilities at Port Canaveral. Present research projects are focused on developing environmentally benign methods to control biofouling, fouling forecasting, methods for ship hull grooming and cleaning, and the design of methods to control corrosion and to enhance the ecology of structures placed in the marine environment.