Two men using ScanTech Offshore
Two men using ScanTech Offshore

Powering Sea Bubble Curtains to Protect Marine Life

ScanTech Offshore is creating a future where renewable energy and marine ecosystems can coexist with the help of Cat® engines.

Wind farms are playing a big role in the transition to renewable energy. But, like anything, they come with risks that must be managed. In the case of offshore wind farms, that risk is noise.  The sound levels of wind farm construction underwater can be up to five times higher than in the open air. All that loud noise isn’t just annoying – it can harm marine animals like porpoises that rely on ultrasound for navigation and migration.

“Bubble curtains”, also called pneumatic barriers, are a solution to this noise problem. Bubble curtains are exactly what the name implies – they’re a system that creates a “curtain” of bubbles around wind farm construction zones that help block traveling sound waves. 

Building Bubble Curtains

ScanTech Offshore is an engineering company that develops innovative solutions to support the energy market.  Their ST3100 air compressors are the only system in the world made specifically for big bubble curtain projects. And they’re powered by Cat® C32 Industrial Diesel Engines.

ScanTech Offshore

The ST3100 air compressors work by pumping oil-free compressed air into a hose on the seabed to create a wall of bubbles. 

"The bubbles stop the sound from traveling for miles,” explained ScanTech Offshore Engineering Manager Scott Berry.  And they’re incredibly effective - the bubble barriers reduce noise exposure to marine life by up to 90%.

Why Choose the C32?

One man looking at a machine

The ST3100 requires a lot of power to effectively move air through the hoses in deep ocean waters.  But the containers are small, so there's not much space in the unit for a large engine. The Cat C32 is a perfect fit - compact, yet powerful.  

Caterpillar is really the only supplier that could supply this kind of engine with this kind of horsepower. Compared to competitors, they have an engine that is unique. We know we’re in good hands.

Scott Berry

Engineering Manager

ScanTech Offshore

Whenever and wherever the next bubble curtain is needed, ScanTech Offshore and Caterpillar will be ready.

Scantech Offshore deliver innovative technology solutions for the renewables market

As the Work Evolves, So Do We

Every business is on a different path when it comes to sustainability. At Caterpillar, we meet you where you are today and help you get where you want to be tomorrow.

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