By Renewable Energy Focus
The Sea-Wind WMV vessel design is for a mother ship that can remain on station in offshore deep-water wind farms providing a haven for multiple catamaran workboats to carry engineers to the wind turbines.
The largest version of the design will be around 187 m long and be fitted with DP2 dynamic positioning capability, a dry/wet dock, helicopter support facilities, cranes for loading stores from support vessels and accommodation to cater for up to 200 engineers.
Neil Patterson, Managing Director of OSD-IMT, says: “The Sea-Wind design is a submersible dock ship with a large floodable dock accessible from the stern. It will provide accommodation for wind turbine engineers, service personnel, ships and support crew and can support helicopter operations in addition to its workboat deployment capability.
“Crew change and supplies will be carried out using a dedicated support vessel with the option to carry out crew changes by using large helicopters normally associated with servicing offshore oil installations.
“With a capability to service up to 45 wind turbines per day in up to 2.5 m significant weave heights, what we are providing is a secure offshore maintenance base from which workboats can be deployed, keeping them and their work crews safely on site in deep water wind farms far from shelter.
“By remaining on site rather than returning to port between maintenance visits the Sea-Wind WFM vessel design will reduce transit time and energy getting to and from the fields, and will maximise the use of good weather windows. That means savings in cost and energy used for maintenance, reduction of non-operational downtime and increased turbine availability.”
Round 3 goal
The aim is for the offshore wind farm maintenance vessel to be ready for the UK Round 3 of offshore wind farms, which are expected to be as far out as 110 km.
In addition to workboats, the Sea-Wind WMV vessel design also supports Autonomous Rescue and Recovery Craft (ARRC) which are certified as ‘places of safety’ and can support marine and helicopter operations remotely from the mother ship and provide a safe haven in case of emergency or rescue operations.
A dedicated support vessel that will work will the Sea-Wind WMV mother ship, an IMT 9552 Wind Farm Maintenance Vessel, will have logistics support capability to carry and transfer cargo fuel, cargo portable water, aviation fuel, dry and refrigerated stores containers on deck and also have accommodation for 25 wind turbine engineers. It will be fitted with a crane, heave compensated access walkway and two daughter craft workboats.
In addition to an energy efficient diesel-electric power generation and propulsion systems, OSD says the vessel will be fitted with “a number of renewable energy devices to supplement the power generation and support systems,” although it has not gone into further details on this.
OSD and partners are currently discussing the design with wind farm developers and are seeking tenders for the construction of the vessels.