Automating Geopolymer Spar Buoy Construction


Filak calls his design the U.S. Spar Buoy (USSB) foundation and recommends building it using a geopolymer concrete. Geopolymer is a material that, unlike steel, does not degrade in seawater. The Zeobond Group in Australia is one manufacturer of the material. Reinforcement would come from a corrosion-resistant, steel-free rebar.

Construction begins and ends on an ocean-going deck barge built to construct the spar buoys and deploy them to a deep-water wind farm.

Buoy construction is executed dockside. The first component, an end-bell starter section, measures 40-ft diameter by 30-ft high. This first component is cast on the dock and then set into a lowering well on the barge. The slip formwork and its staging are placed in four pie-shaped quadrants onto the end-bell starter.

The deck plan (a top view) shows on the left, winch cables and the spar buoy work area, and on the right, where the transition piece and wind turbine would be assembled. The dual-hull catamaran barge measures 480-ft by 60-ft wide connected by a bridging structure 300-ft by 50-ft by 10-ft deep flush with the deck plate and centered fore and aft on the outside hulls. This provides a deck plan of 72,600 ft2

(Alexander Tomasik) #2

Looks expensive. :thinking:

(noboxes) #3

It’s a shame for the usa that due to usa shipping regulations, those European ships bringing over generators for the offshore windfarms in the Atlantic cannot pull into usa ports and pick up the spars here.

(Larry G) #4

The Jones act prevents foreign ships from moving goods from one port in the US to another port in the US. I don’t think that would apply to delivery in the open ocean.

(noboxes) #5

Except that in this case, the windmill is an installation on the ocean floor under usa control, usually inside the territorial zone, and always within the EEZ. The reason was stated (and i am merely repeating it) in a case against buying European wind generators at any cost, because doing so also cost usa seaman jobs, use of usa-based ships, and usa-made pylons. So European windmill erection ships come to usa waters, cargo ships carry the generators AND the pylons, and (since it is all European anyhow) European crews.

Please note i didn’t say i agree with any of the Jones Act as applied to this mess. It’s a chicken and egg problem…


In particular, the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, commonly referred to as the Jones Act, generally requires that all vessels transporting “merchandise” between two points in the U.S. be: U.S.-built, U.S.-flagged, U.S.-owned, and predominantly crewed by U.S. citizens or residents. Broadly, merchandise is defined as “goods, wares, and chattels of every description,” including “valueless material.” In relation to the offshore wind industry, the Jones Act effectively forbids foreign vessels from loading turbine components in a U.S. port and installing them in U.S. waters.
There are currently no American vessels capable of installing offshore wind turbines.
The reason there are no usa vessels to put the pylons up, is there's no contracts awaiting the construction of such vessels, because there are no vessels to get the contracts with. It's "investor logic".

Many more hits on this problem at"Jones+Act"+windpower+ships+Europe&t=ffsb&ia=web


Current commercially produced Geopolymer Concrete costs are prohibitive.
The overall process described is, oddly enough, similar to ideas expressed in this forum, years ago.

This forum, as a repository of well researched information, is filled with such techniques…
How do we, the ones putting that research and knowledge INTO this forum get the backing to DO these projects, instead of watching as the world takes our ideas and passes by?

Hell, this thread is basically the same project that caused the ruckus between me and another member and his demand for money on his website.

Jeff Frusha