Protective Coatings for Offshore Wind Turbine Foundations

Offshore wind turbines are becoming an increasingly popular source of renewable energy, with the potential to power millions of homes. However, these structures are constantly exposed to harsh environmental conditions, including saltwater, high winds, and extreme temperatures. This makes it crucial to have protective coatings in place to ensure the longevity and efficiency of these turbines.

Historically, protective coatings for offshore wind turbine foundations have been riddled with compromise. However, Tesla NanoCoatings has set its sights on the offshore wind industry to deliver a solution that is cost-effective, highly efficient, and demonstrates unrivaled durability in the face of the harsh offshore environment.

To realize the significance of a coating designed to revolutionize the industry, it is critical to first understand the challenges that are faced by the offshore wind industry.

 

The Importance of Offshore Wind Turbine Coatings

Offshore wind turbine foundations are constantly exposed to harsh environmental conditions, which can cause corrosion, erosion, and other forms of damage. This not only affects the structural integrity of the turbine, but it also decreases its efficiency and lifespan.

Protective coatings act as a barrier between the turbine and the environment, preventing damage and extending the equipment’s longevity. They also help to reduce maintenance costs and downtime, making them a crucial component of offshore wind turbine foundations.

Challenges of the Offshore Environment

The most common type of damage to offshore wind turbines is corrosion caused by exposure to saltwater. From this single hazard comes two risks to the integrity of offshore wind turbine foundations: abrasion and corrosion.

This is why surface protection is a crucial aspect of wind turbine coatings. The coating must be able to withstand strong abrasive forces to prevent the corrosive effects of saltwater from compromising the condition of the foundation.

Additionally, the coating must be able to adhere to the surface of the turbine, even in harsh conditions. This is why it is important to choose a high-quality coating that is specifically designed for offshore wind turbines.

Other challenges presented to offshore wind turbine foundations as a result of their environment include buffeting winds and UV rays that inflict wear over time with extended exposure.

The Shortcomings of Traditional Offshore Coatings

Traditional offshore coatings such as epoxy, thermal sprayed aluminum, and polyurethane have been used for decades, but they each have some major limitations.

These coatings are often difficult or tedious to apply, requiring extensive surface preparation and multiple coats to reach a satisfactory level of durability. Many coatings take hours to apply and even longer to cure, resulting in massive production losses in the form of downtime.

Additionally, traditional offshore coatings are susceptible to cracking and chipping despite their intended use. Although zinc can be used in epoxy coatings to increase cathodic protection of offshore wind turbine foundations, the dense zinc molecules disrupt the structure of the epoxy coating and drastically reduce its resistance to impact and abrasion. The resulting coating failures can lead to corrosion and other problems.

Cost can be another inhibitive factor with other coatings for offshore wind turbine foundations. While epoxy coatings present a low startup cost, much can quickly be lost when downtime due to maintenance is considered. Oppositely, TSA coatings can exhibit better longevity than epoxy coatings, but the initial material cost can serve as a barrier to entry for the coating method.

The New ISO 24656:2022 Standard for Offshore Wind Coatings

For decades, ISO has stood as the baseline standard for protective offshore coatings quality as defined by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). More recently, the ISO 24656:2022 standard has been published in 2022 as follows: “This document specifies the requirements for the external and internal cathodic protection for offshore wind farm structures. It is applicable for structures and appurtenances in contact with seawater or seabed environments.” It outlines standards specifically for coatings of offshore wind turbine foundations and other structures in the offshore wind sector.

Furthermore, the ISO 24656:2022 standard helps establish a consistent and recognized benchmark for the industry, allowing for better comparability between coatings and confidence in the quality of protective coatings used in offshore wind projects. By adhering to the ISO 24656:2022 standard, manufacturers and operators of offshore wind turbine foundations can ensure that they are using coatings that provide effective corrosion protection, helping to extend the lifespan of the foundations and minimize maintenance and repair costs.

Our Patented TESLAN® Application Process

Part of quality assurance for coatings comes with designing a product that leaves minimal room for error during the application process. TESLAN®’s highly efficient and innovative two-coat system, specifically designed to provide maximum convenience and ease of use, offers the remarkable advantage of being able to be applied in a single visit, saving valuable time and effort.

Both offshore asset owners and applicators can benefit from Tesla NanoCoatings’ patented WET EDGE 2×1 wet-on-wet process. This exceptional system can be effortlessly applied using widely available and commonly used tools such as spray guns, brushes, or rollers, making it incredibly accessible and user-friendly for professional contractors. This process allows for the application of a topcoat shortly after the base coat, even before it has fully dried. As a result, downtime is significantly reduced, leading to a higher return on investment for many customers.

A Sneak Peek at the New TESLAN® Coating System for Offshore Wind Turbine Foundations

TESLAN® is gaining popularity as a specialized protective coating system designed specifically for use in some of the harshest environments known to man. While the TESLAN® family already hosts a number of coatings for a wide range of applications, the newest addition to the lineup is a coating system designed specifically for the protection of offshore wind turbine foundations.

This unique system was designed to meet NORSOK M501, ISO 12944-9, and the most recently published ISO 24656:2022 standards. The two-component, epoxy-based system provides superior corrosion protection against the elements presented by the harsh environment of offshore wind.

For more information on this breakthrough coating for offshore wind, be sure to come back for our next blog post where it will be discussed in detail.

Protective coatings are a crucial component of offshore wind turbine foundations, providing surface protection and extending the lifespan of these structures. The importance of selecting the right coating for offshore wind turbine foundations cannot be overstated. By investing in high-quality coatings and following proper maintenance procedures, you can ensure the efficiency and longevity of your offshore wind turbines. Come back next time to learn more about how Tesla NanoCoatings is going to blow the offshore wind industry away.

To learn more about the technologies that define Tesla NanoCoatings, visit our About Page. If you’re interested in utilizing our quick coatings in your offshore, marine, or midstream operations, contact us today.