Naval architecture and marine engineering company Offshore Ship Designers has launched a new offshore wind farm maintenance vessel concept which aims to reduce maintenance costs and carbon emissions, improve uptime of deepwater wind turbines and provide a solution to the logistics problem of carrying out simultaneous multiple wind turbine maintenance.
The Sea-Wind WMV vessel design is for a mother ship which would remain on station in offshore deep-water wind farms, providing a safe haven for multiple numbers of catamaran workboats to carry engineers to service the turbines.
Neil Patterson, Managing Director of OSD-IMT, Offshore Ship Designers’ UK Company, said: “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 wave 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. This means savings in cost and energy used for maintenance, reduction of non-operational downtime and increased turbine availability,” he added.