Growth through Research, development & demonstration in Offshore Wind


Bubbles JIP Completed

Joint Industry Project to achieve more efficient and effective use of bubble curtains for noise mitigation in offshore installation projects


During installation of monopiles and jackets at sea, the noise generated by high-energy piling may harm the marine environment. To mitigate the risk of noise for marine life, governments have adopted noise limits for pile-driving operations in their permits for offshore construction projects. Air bubble curtains reduce the sound-levels. A looped hose on the seabed - pressurized by air compressors – generates the bubble curtain. Currently, engineers base the bubble curtain designs on previous experience and not on scientific research. Companies experience large variations in the current performance of bubble curtains. A better understanding of the noise generation and mitigation mechanisms would enable better engineering of the bubble curtains, leading to screens that are more effective and to lower costs. Improved screens will control better the noise levels and will reduce the risk not to comply with the specific noise requirements per piling project.


Bubbles JIP contributed to more efficient and effective designs of bubble curtains to reduce noise during offshore installation. This project researched the current practice of bubble curtain generation. It also researched the sound propagation of piling noise through water and soil and the physical mechanism of noise attenuation by air bubbles. We developed technology to measure the bubble size distribution and concentration over the water depth, also in relation to waves and current.


Based on this improved knowledge and understanding we developed a computer model to calculate the effect of improved configurations of air bubble curtain on the noise levels during offshore installation. For an efficient application of the knowledge gained within this project, we developed guidelines for the design of bubble curtains, which we reported in a “Best Practice” reference document, providing:

The project partners benefited from the improved understanding of the working principles and performance dependencies of noise mitigation by a bubble curtain. It also allows making a more accurate budget and schedule estimates for wind farm installation.

Contact Details


Linda Kemp
+31 31 749 3387

Technology Readiness Level

Maturity level: 4.
        4 5 6

Project duration


Environment Installation
Big bubble curtain magnify Big bubble curtain

Big bubble curtain


Big bubble curtain

Bubbles JIP magnify Bubbles JIP

Bubbles JIP


Bubbles JIP


Project in the Spotlight Bubbles JIP (TKI Offshore Energy, 2024)

Bubble JIP leaflet (MARIN, 2020)

Other information

This project is supported with a subsidy by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy. Find more project information at the TKI Offshore Energy website.

GROW-to-GO podcast logopodcast & article | 26 Oct 2021 The double bubble keeping sea life out of trouble


Associate project partners