Straight from the top

Integrated system measures the pile’s top section to facilitate perfect verticality and a climate-smart installation

In our shared responsibility to meet the Sustainable Development Goals and bring the world affordable energy, we must leave no stone unturned to streamline processes and find the best solutions for climate neutrality. This is a self-evident business strategy, as energy efficiency usually means lower costs. And down the road, you can pick up a greener company profile.

Let’s see how IQIP’s PIME (PILE Inclination Measurement Equipment), outperforms the competition with exact measurements all through the procedure – saving time, money, and energy.

Innovating the industry

With years of experience and world-leading installation experts, IQIP is constantly developing new technology to increase efficiency and reduce risks for the offshore industry. One challenge has been implementing a reliable and convenient measuring method that ensures a vertical installation. This is imperative for the turbine’s construction and performance, and increasingly important as humanity’s concern for the climate calls for bigger and bigger wind turbines.

When the inclination tolerance is as low as 0.05 degrees, the challenge is not just to get pile vertical – the need for precision makes the whole procedure complicated and sensitive. An operator who realizes too late that the pile is not upright may face arduous shimming with wedges or other time-consuming methods, which he obviously would want to avoid. Furthermore, not knowing that the installation will proceed according to schedule is a real headache for project management as the uncertainty would affect the ability to make decisions on logistics, budget, and delivery.

It is true that many methods can measure a pile’s verticality, but only one system can do it while the pile is steered into its designated position. That system is called PIME, and it was introduced by IQIP’s engineers about ten years ago.

 

PIME 1

Pile Inclination Measurement Equipment (PIME)

Faster, easier, and safer

Because a wind turbine has several interconnected sections, you need to ensure that the top section is fully horizontal. This is something which water levels can’t do, but PIME can. The sensor-based system measures inside the sleeve and uses measuring pins at the sides to calculate the angle. For monopiles with a top flange, an alternative solution with horizontal beams has been developed.

The operator gets live and perfect measurements on his computer screen, so he can make immediate adjustments – no need to lift the hammer or access the pile for manual measuring. Early information is a considerable advantage because it is too late for minor adjustments once you have reached a depth of ten meters. Moreover, getting it right from the start means you reduce the number of hammer blows, and in extensive installations with a hundred windmills, that energy cost will quickly accumulate to a substantial figure, just like the CO2 emissions.

PIME resulted in several benefits for the entire enterprise. “A procedure that used to take over ten hours is now completed in just two hours. We can also see that fuel consumption is lower than before, and we need less staff and gear to install a monopile.”

 

“A procedure that used to take over ten hours is now completed in just two hours.”

IQIP’s Manager Advisory Services

Developed to perfection with customers

When IQIP introduced the first version of PIME ten years ago, it was only the beginning of continuing development work. With data collection and customer input, PIME has become a multi-dimensional measuring system for fast, safe, and energy-efficient installations that meets the market’s shifting demands.

“The offshore industry is constantly moving forward, and a particular technology becomes interesting when we see how it facilitates and merges with new trends. For instance, bolted flange connections have become a popular alternative to grouted connections – a change supported by PIME and yet another CO2 saving because you get less overlap and concrete is a very CO2-intensive product.”

Another improvement is using two sensors instead of one, as the system becomes self-controlling and provides the operator with completely reliable data during the ongoing installation.

Now that hundreds of monopiles have been installed, IQIP concludes that PIME has delivered a vertical installation every time and offered customers a safe and economical solution – ultimately bringing down CO2 emissions.

News published on 20 January 2022

“Many customers started using this equipment as a secondary measurement system but decided to make it their primary system due to its accuracy. In fact, PIME’s accuracy has been so high that customers no longer feel the need to verify the result with other equipment. One system replaces several others, and that is yet another saving.”

Going forward, IQIP sees many opportunities for PIME in various areas. For example, the system was developed for the larger sleeves but is now adaptable for any size and underwater installations.

Benefits at a glance

  • Instant measuring allows the operator to align the monopile during driving
  • Minimises risk because there is no need for staff to access the pile
  • Saves energy through a more effective procedure
  • One integrated system replaces external equipment
  • Significant time savings
  • The system’s reliability helps project planning
  • Usable for all piling applications, even underwater
  • Tested and developed to perfection

PIME measures during the installation, not afterward when it’s too late.

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