Modular Floating Island Solutions

Background and Objectives

Horizon 2020 funded project Space@Sea commenced its work on November 1, 2017 setting out to make a step in efficient use of the maritime environment. The consortium consisting of 17 European partners, aim to provide sustainable and affordable workspace at sea by developing a standardised and cost efficient modular island with low ecological impact. Project coordinator Maarten Flikkema (MARIN) says: “The three-year project can be regarded as a success if the modular design of the multi-use platform has successfully been validated in a relevant environment at model scale”.

Space@Sea will study the most suitable shape of the floaters to minimise the motions. As starting point triangles will be used which also allow for a modular design maximising the flexibility to add and remove deck space and applications if necessary. Offshore specialists will contribute to design a shared mooring solution in combination with a remote monitoring and sensing system to reduce installation and maintenance costs.

In Space@Sea four applications will be studied being farming, transport and logistics hub, energy hub and living. To show the potential of multi-use modular floating islands Space@Sea will conclude with the evaluation of three business cases with combinations of applications for various locations throughout Europe. Space@Sea will initiate digital communication to those interested through a project website and Twitter (@SpaceAtSea). Workshops and other result sharing activities will be announced through these streams.

Contributions of FDS

Within the Space@Sea project, FDS is working on a number of work packages using different numerical approaches for a variety of tasks.

Within the design work package, the institute contributes by conducting multi-body interaction simulations of several island modules in waves, assessing maximum expected forces and motions of the platforms. This knowledge directly feeds into the design process.

Within the work package devoted to installation and operation, the FDS group assesses limiting environmental conditions for the installation process. This serves to gain a high reliability estimate of workability and hence the cost to be expected due to weather down times. Additionally, resistance computations of the tow-out are conducted in order to estimate the tug capacity needed for such operations.

For design of the Energyhub@Sea, the institute contributes by conduction extreme sea state simulations of the wave energy converter ring which is placed around the island to harvest energy and reduce the impact of wave forces on the inner-island applications. The limiting state analysis is required for the dimensioning of the connections between WEC module and main island and for the layout of the power-take-off device.

The operability of an offshore container hub, as designed in work package 9 of the Space@Sea project, depends on the relative motion between berths and moored vessels. In collaboration with the TU Delft and mocean, a performance-enhancing control system was developed, with TUHH providing the information on initial relative motion of vessel and multi-body quay for irregular seas.

Funding and Cooperation


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 774253.