Institute for Energy Transition
dedicated to Marine Renewable Energies
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Latest>News>Study biofouling and its influence

Study biofouling and its influence


Last August, several PVC plates were installed on the keel of two special mark buoys in the Mediterranean Sea.

The first is at the MISTRAL test site, off Port Saint-Louis-du-Rhône. The second is opposite Cap Couronne, on the edge of the Côte Bleue Marine Park, which is about 10 km away, which is the maximum distance between two wind turbines located at opposite ends of a commercial farm.
Over the next three years, regular dives with photography and sampling will be carried out at these two sites to monitor the biocolonization of the different plates. In order to complete the system for small and large-scale inter-site comparisons, four other buoys are also involved in this experiment: one in the Mediterranean (Leucate) and three in the Atlantic (Croisic and Groix & Belle-Île). Environmental parameters (such as temperature, dissolved oxygen content, chlorophyll concentration) of the monitoring sites are measured in order to best interpret the observed biofouling variations.
But what does this have to do with ORE?
The devices installed aim to monitor their colonization in order to characterize and quantify biofouling for environmental and engineering purposes in an EMR context. Few studies have been carried out in this area and many questions remain unanswered.
Which species colonize the structures, when and to what extent? Is there any geographical (intra-site, inter-site), temporal (seasonal, annual) variability? How do we explain this variability? What are the induced effects on the components of offshore energy systems such as mooring lines, dynamic cables, floats?
A major R&D challenge for the ORE sector, biofouling is the basis for several projects set up and coordinated by France Energies Marines. Two are particularly concerned by the experiment launched at the beginning of August:
 - ABIOP + dedicated to the consideration of biofouling through quantification protocols useful for engineering,
 - MEMOFLOW 1.0 whose aim is to set up a permanent Mediterranean monitoring observatory for floating wind turbines.