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Floating structures used in the extraction of energy offshore require efficient mooring systems to hold station. Oil & gas industry has utilised such systems for over half a century during which they have evolved to a position where fit-for-purpose designs address the subtle differences in operational conditions. Offshore wind industry is on the cusp of an exciting new frontier that will see the increasing use of floating structures to host wind turbines. Early designs of mooring systems show remarkable departures in some areas from the historical design experience. This talk aims to scrutinize, some of the fundamental choices being made that have led to these departures, to conclude on their rationale and where further examination is necessary to ensure that future developments in floating wind are not set back through catastrophic failures.
Dr R. V. Ahilan is a Chartered Engineer and Fellow of both IMarEST and RINA. He holds a BSc (Leeds) and MS (Caltech) in Civil Engineering, a PhD (Cantab) in Engineering Fluid Mechanics and an MBA (Imperial). He is a technology and business leader with over three decades of industry experience, more than 15 years of which has been at board level. Prior to LOC, Ahilan was EVP of the Renewables Advisory Division of DNV GL, with strategic and operational responsibility for the world’s largest technical advisory firm in renewable energy formed by the merger of GL Garrad Hassan (of which he was President) and the renewables business of DNV. His offshore oil & gas career spanning three decades was with GL Noble Denton, where he was President Americas, MD Europe and MD Advanced Engineering Consulting. He has worked in the marine operations and ocean engineering aspects of the offshore industry globally and has led projects which have had industry impact in setting standards and safety factors in jack-up site assessment, mooring systems and marine transportation. He has been an expert witness and technical advisor to lawyers in Norway, Denmark, UAE and the UK on many technically complex cases related to marine operations, drilling rigs and FPSOs. He was a member of the UK HSE panel on mooring guidance and convened the ISO 19901-7 Panel which produced the first ISO standard for Station keeping systems. He has also been technical advisor to PhD projects in Cambridge University and Imperial College. He was Non-Executive Director of Windfire, a vertical axis wind turbine based distributed renewable energy company and is an Advisory Board Member of WavEC Offshore Renewables. He is a Trustee of the charity Marine Technology Trust which supports industrial placements in the marine industry for UK university students.