Salt water, gusts of wind, marine growth, waves and currents all place a heavy strain on offshore wind turbines. To avoid expensive maintenance work, the components must be robust and durable. Foundations also remain a central issue. While monopiles and jackets dominate in the North and Baltic Seas, floating foundations are increasingly used in deep waters at international sites. This area harbours a lot of potential for alternative solutions.
Offshore test fields facilitate research and development in a largely protected environment. This allows, for instance, for the implementation of new installation processes, innovative rotor blade designs or comprehensive research of wind fields. A variety of research topics can be implemented on the basis of current and historical data that have been recorded since the three FINO platforms with extensive measuring systems and the RAVE research network went into operation. At present, the focus is on research in the fields of operations and changes associated with the construction of further wind farms.