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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/P030645/1
Title: MARLIN Modular Floating Platform for Offshore Wind : Concept Assessment
Principal Investigator: Blackwell, Professor PL
Other Investigators:
Day, Professor AS Clelland, Mr D
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Design Manufacture and Engineering Man
Organisation: University of Strathclyde
Scheme: Technology Programme
Starts: 01 February 2017 Ends: 31 October 2017 Value (£): 80,640
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Energy - Marine & Hydropower
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
Project MARLIN will assess and develop a new concept for a modular floating platform system for offshore wind. The

project will confirm technical and commercial feasibility of the novel method of construction and deployment of floating

structures capable of supporting commercially relevant size wind turbines from ISO standard freight container-sized

modules. Current demonstrator concepts in floating offshore wind require infrastructure of the scale unavailable or

inaccessible in most of the world. Cost reductions needed to remove barriers to floating offshore adoption will come from

development of methods not requiring large infrastructure and use of cost-effective mass manufacturing methods for

making the construction modules.

The proposed modular approach, with specially designed smaller and lighter building modules that could be towed out to

sea for assembly, is significantly technically different from the current concepts and demonstrators. The concept will

resolve the issue of prohibitively high cost of construction, logistics, and deployment in floating offshore wind.

The main overarching research objective is to design the modules and the full structure, test those out as mathematical and

physical models, carry out wave tank and sea conditions testing, and development of the manufacturing method. The

project will deliver: design of a low-cost single module building block structure, design of a full modular configurable

structure, creating physical and mathematical models, tank tests and sea test of physical models, analysis of manufacturing

feasibility including a materials selection study and identification of coastal sites and new markets for adoption of the


Two of the University of Strathclyde engineering departments, AFRC and NAOME, will work together with the other

members of the consortium.

NAOME's role within the consortium is to develop a detailed hydrodynamic simulation model of the semi-submersible

concept for two different types of floating modules - a passive one and a dynamic one which can have its buoyancy and

orientation altered. Scaled models of the two module concepts under a range of different sea states representative of

where the wind turbines will be deployed will be conducted. The results will be measured and analysed and a report

provided to the lead partner on the findings from both tests and simulations.

AFRC's role is to develop a finite element (FE) model for the initial and refined modules, to determine their suitability in

terms of structural strength performance under different load cases. Once the best configuration for the module has been

determined, the AFRC will develop a FE model for two different configurations of the final structural assembly made with

the selected module and simulate the performance of the overall structures. A report will be provided, summarising the

findings. Due to the complexity of the project, the geographical spread of the partners and the close collaborative nature of

the project, AFRC will also support Frontier Technical in the management of the project.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
Sectors submitted by the Researcher
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Project URL:  
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.strath.ac.uk