A foundation is connected to the seabed by piles, suction buckets, gravitational forces or anchored with moring lines. On top of the foundation a substructure with sealing elements is installed such that watertight compartments are established between the two structures. The pressure inside these compartments is quickly reduced to atmospheric level and hence the water pressure outside acts on the structures and keep them safely connected. A secondary simple mechanical locking device will take the loads in the case of a sealing failure.
The principle is somewhat similar to the suction bucket technology, but instead of pushing a bucket into the seabed, this concept is connecting two or more submerged structures.
The Hydrostatic Structural Connection Technology can be used to connect any type of submerged structure. The area of the compartments and the water depth are determing the connecting forces.
The technology can be used on submerged structures with a tower extending to the surface (like a wind turbine substructure), on completely submerged structures as for oil & gas applications, tidal turbines or as a quick connection on a mooring line etc.
HSCT is still at a concept level and more R&D and demonstration is needed.
Click on figure below to see enlarged view.