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Case study – wpd

Case study – wpd

How EIVA arranged both data security and savings on ToughBoy Panchax wave buoys for a client's offshore wind farm project

'wpd found with EIVA a flexible and proactive partner to fully satisfy the project's demands. Together, we were able to develop a solution with a unique form of mitigating the risk of having data leaks at an affordable price rate.' 
Project Manager Offshore Logistics Florian Lesch


Like any offshore wind farm project, wpd’s project Nordergründe (currently under construction in Germany) operates with high stakes. Even a single day’s delay would cost an enormous amount. 

To ensure their contractors’ success, wpd considered it wise to purchase two wave buoys to collect data, although they only had one data collection point. One buoy would collect the data, with the second one serving as a safety backup should anything befall the first buoy. This solution seemed initially to be the best way to limit downtime and secure uninterrupted data gathering.


The wind farm specialist wpd works to develop, finance, construct and operate both on- and offshore wind farms. While wpd is actively engaged in 17 countries and counting all around the world, Germany is its biggest market. Its offshore wind farm Nordergründe is located in the estuary of the German river Weser, and will comprise a total of 18 turbines with a total capacity of 110.7 MW.

Given these parameters, wpd did not want to risk a moment’s delay during the wind farm’s construction, which is why they put out a tender for two buoys to log and transmit the data, so the contractors would know when they were able to work on the site.

When EIVA’s team saw and analysed wpd’s requirements, they realised that they could provide the needed service without wpd having to purchase a redundant buoy. EIVA pitched an alternative offer of the purchase of one ToughBoy Panchax wave buoy, with another one kept on ‘standby’. 

Standard wave buoy to save money and provide peace of mind

The ToughBoy Panchax is designed for rough weather and offers the lowest possible total cost of ownership on the market. It provides reliable data through an integrated ADCP and high-precision wave sensor, making it perfect for wpd’s purposes in Nordergründe.

After considering EIVA’s proposal, wpd opted to purchase one ToughBoy Panchax wave buoy, while paying a fee to keep another one on standby. This means that while the purchased buoy sits in the water off the coast of Germany, the standby buoy is kept and maintained in the EIVA workshop, in stock to be delivered immediately if/when needed or desired.

With a buoy on standby, wpd could ensure the same safety of data at a favourable price compared to the cost of purchasing two buoys outright. Even though the standby buoy would be nestled in a warehouse rather than floating on the sea, since it was ready to go when called upon, it would guarantee continuous data collection.

Negotiating a brand-new solution together

The cost-saving concept was pitched to and developed with the client directly. EIVA designated a dedicated resource to act as a single point of contact for wpd, and between the two companies there was frequent contact and dialogue as the arrangement was developed. This close communication continues as the project develops and evolves to make sure wpd has exactly what they need and when, to ensure success.


EIVA and wpd entered into preliminary discussions in the summer of 2015, and by the autumn of that year, the order was in place. In February 2016, one buoy went out while the standby remained in the EIVA office to be called on if needed. 

The buoy was initially set up with an Iridium data plan, with an Iridium modem installed on the buoy to transmit the data via satellite. At a later stage communication is planned to take place via an UHF radio link to the offshore substation. 

See how easily the ToughBoy Panchax is deployed

ToughBoy deployment

Deploying the Toughboy Panchax

Products in play

  • ToughBoy Panchax wave buoy – Wave buoy with the lowest possible cost of ownership on the market
  • Iridium data subscription – One of several different available data transmission types translating into high deployment flexibility for the buoy and savings on communications
  • Teledyne Workhorse Monitor ADCP with bottom tracking – Direct reading unit with one of many possible upgrades available to tackle a wide variety of coastal applications

Facts and numbers

  • Planned with 18 multi-megawatt wind turbine generators (WTGs) as well as one offshore substation (OSS)
  • Location: Germany, 34 km north of Wilhelmshaven and 34 km westerly of Cuxhaven
  • ToughBoy Panchax buoy deployed in February 2016 ahead of offshore construction in April 2016
  • Water depth: 2.5 to 10 m (LAT)
  • Max wave height (50 yrs): 7.3 m
  • Max wind speed (50 yrs, 10 min): 41.6 m/s
  • Seabed surface is mainly sand
  • Soil conditions are mainly dense to very dense sand
  • Max current speed: 2.3 m/s

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