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Offshore wind energy is rapidly expanding to meet the global demand for energy, with it brings new challenges. The installation of offshore turbine generators in shallow water requires the use of fixed foundations in the seabed. The noise generated during installation can be substantial, affecting nearby marine life.

Climate change and global warming presents an uncertain future, even with immediate reduction in emissions. Significant research has been undertaken by various public institutions on the effect global warming will have on the world’s oceans, and in particular wave climate.

This article is the first in a series of three reviewing different IPCC climate predictions in the context of the offshore industry operations.

We explore the changes predicted for ambient and extreme wave conditions around Australia. This line of analysis enables us to consider what the impact may be due to climate change, and what changes this will entail for the design environments of both existing offshore assets and new facilities.

Safe and reliable access to offshore energy, whether it be through traditional, hydrocarbon or renewable sources, requires offshore infrastructure to be held on station by well designed, well installed and well monitored mooring systems.

AMOG has been looking at engineering solutions for the offshore energy sector for three decades. More recently, we’ve been developing IIoT technology that can provide stakeholders with a more complete view of risk over the life of their floating facilities. This is an important, but sometimes overlooked issue but is growing in importance. Aside from owner and operator-led initiatives, as regulatory requirements build upon these innovations there is increasing pressure on operators to expand monitoring capabilities to retain compliance.

A mooring system is a safety-critical part of any offshore facility, but – being underwater – is also one of the most difficult parts of the facility for operators to monitor.

Despite this difficulty, as part of their duty of care all operators need to demonstrate proactive monitoring of mooring integrity and keep evidence of these activities. Simple vessel excursion monitoring by itself does not capture the most prevalent mooring failure modes and sensors within the load path can be both complex to install and maintain, and can be subject to anomalous data over time.

Throw into the mix the various ways that mooring lines can fail and you end up with a complex and critical problem on your hands.

So how can we improve regulatory compliance while increasing assessment accuracy and reducing effort?