As of January 7, the GICON®-SOF Floating Offshore Foundation is a patented invention in the U.S. The United States Patent and Trademark Office issued certificate number 8,622,011 B2 entitled ‘Floating foundation supporting framework with buoyancy components, having an open-relief design‘ that protects the intellectual property of the invention in the U.S. market. Patents already exist in Europe. The GICON®-SOF is patented until July 7, 2017, with an extended protection running until January 8, 2029.
“The USA will be one of the leading markets for offshore wind development in the future. Therefore, it is an important step for GICON to achieve patent protection for our SOF in the U.S. market,” GICON’s CEO Prof. Jochen Grossmann said.
The GICON® SOF Floating Offshore Foundation provides new opportunities for offshore wind farm development. It offers various advantages compared to ordinary offshore foundations as the SOF can be deployed in both shallow water (from 65 ft. onwards) and deep water (up to 1,640 ft.). Furthermore, the fully-assembled structure including mounted turbine can be towed to the deployment location leading to a more cost-effective and less weather dependent installation. Tests show that the GICON® SOF is as stable as a conventional, bottom mounted offshore wind foundation. The construction and deployment of a full-scale model is planned for 2014/2015.