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Interview With Eirik Lystad Hagem, Sales Director Offshore Wind, Glamox

Q What do you see as the trends concerning lighting for Offshore Wind?

Offshore wind will experience massive growth as countries transition from fossil fuels to renewables. The Global Wind Energy Council expects 380 GW of offshore wind to be installed between 2023-2032, compared to just 8.8 GW in 2022. All these wind farms will need lighting as will the vessels that construct and service them. A normal-sized wind farm requires thousands of lights, spread between the turbines and substation.

The lighting needs to be sustainable with energy-efficient luminaires based on long-lasting LED technology. Furthemore, the luminaires must be highly reliable and be able to withstand harsh offshore conditions for many years. Finally, we’re increasingly seeing customers ask for a total solution of both lighting and Light Management Systems for remote monitoring and control.

Q What sorts of lights are needed for wind farms?

Most offshore wind farms are unmanned with lighting primarily used during service missions. It is essential for safe and efficient working conditions. Typically, turbines require lighting on the transition piece which connects the turbine to the monopile foundation. This is where maintenance crews access the turbine so it must be well-lit with technical lighting and floodlights on working platforms and ladders. Inside the turbine, lighting is needed on walls and ladders for safe access to the nacelle.

Offshore substations are very large structures, typically up to 20,000 tonnes, with substantial indoor and outdoor working areas that require linear lighting and floodlights for safe operations. Some are manned with living quarters that require lighting. Explosion-proof luminaires are also fitted in sensitive areas. Finally, installation and service vessels require full lighting packages and Light Management Systems. 

Q What are the challenges in lighting offshore wind farms?

Unlike onshore wind farms, the lighting has to cope with the harsh marine environment. Luminaires have to be especially robust and marine-certified to cope with seawater, salt-moist air, and temperature changes. Also, they must be able to withstand vibrations from the turbines - a factor that will increase as turbines get larger. 

Offshore wind farms are expected to last more than 30 years with minimal maintenance. In the case of an emergency or power failure, lighting needs to work from backup power. Therefore emergency luminaires are often monitored remotely and tested regularly using Light Management Systems.

Always fit quality, long-lasting marine-certified luminaires intended for offshore environments. Having to replace poor-quality lights, when the wind farm is operational, can be expensive and disruptive to operations. Invariably, it ends up costing the customer more than if they’d purchased the approved and tested lighting in the first place.

Q Lighting offshore wind farms is a growing business for Glamox. Why is that?

We have generations of experience and are a world leader in lighting for marine and offshore energy. So, lighting offshore wind farms was a natural extension for us. Over the last decade or so we’ve delivered lighting for more than 100 offshore wind projects around the world and recently announced contracts in Taiwan and South Korea. We’ve built a comprehensive one-stop shop for technical lighting for wind farms worldwide. 

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