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PSM Level Transmitters Provide Stability for First Free-floating Offshore Wind Turbine

Image of PSM Level Transmitters Provide Stability for First Free-floating Offshore Wind Turbine06 Sep 2012

Featuring a simple, economic and patented design, WindFloat is an innovative floating platform support structure for offshore wind turbines, which dampens wave and turbine induced motion, enabling wind turbines to be sited in previously inaccessible locations where water depth exceeds 50m. With wide experience in resolving complex marine engineering challenges, PSM was able to offer expert advice on the best technical, reliable and cost effective solution to provide the structure with the stability required for optimal efficiency.

The key design feature of WindFloat is its ‘leg column stabilisation and closed loop active ballast management system’.  This allows the platform to maintain a flat and constant height above the water, whatever the sea and wind conditions, which provides the turbine blades stable operating conditions to generate their maximum power. However, this active ballast management system relies on accurate and stable liquid level transmitters to measure the sea water ballast level in each column leg and transmit this to the control system. Hence the selection of PSM’s Tankstar 260, an accurate and stable hydrostatic level transmitter, designed and constructed specifically for marine applications, with an extensive list of marine industry references from previous successful applications.

With the help of PSM, Houston Offshore was quickly able to design and specify this part of the platform instrument package. With the Tankstar 260 being so simple to install and commission, Houston Offshore has saved time and money in engineering and construction costs. As the level transmitters are so reliable and robust, problem-free and low maintenance operation is ensured for the future.

Each WindFloat is 54 metres tall and weighs 12,000 tonnes with a generating capacity of 2 MW.  Sited six kilometres off the North Portuguese coast near the city of Porto, this is the first of six installations to test the design and location concept.

For more information on Tankstar 260 and all other PSM marine instrumentation systems, email us at or call on +44 (0) 1444 410040.

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