OP to Display MaXccess Wind Turbine Access System at Seawork 2011 (UK)

Safe, cost effective and efficient transfer between floating support vessels and offshore wind turbines is a ‘holy grail’ for the offshore wind industry. OSBIT Power (OP) has risen to the challenge, and developed the MaXccess system – MX11/01. The first system will be on display at Seawork 2011 on the OP stand (Q27).

“We held a preview of the system at Port of Tyne on 9 June, prior to shipping the system to Southampton for Seawork 2011,” explains Dr Tony Trapp, CEO of OSBIT Power. Feedback was highly encouraging, some of the comments we logged included:

  • Very professional piece of equipment – compact and looks like it will do the job!
  • Groundbreaking
  • A genuine piece of disruptive technology
  • Our power cable installation has to stop when the tower teams can’t get to work, this new technology could have a huge impact on the bottom line of our operations
  • I was in London at a conference supported by The Crown Estate, Siemens, Dong and other big players in the industry, everyone was calling for better access – MaXccess could be really significant

“This certainly augurs well for Seawork where literally thousands will be able to see the first MaXccess system ‘in the flesh’ and assess its use to them in increasing offshore wind industry safety levels.”

Overcoming transfer system challenges

OP has developed the MaXccess system to overcome the disadvantages of the current transfer system. It does this by clamping onto one of the vertical buffer tubes. The system is carefully engineered to restrain vertical bow movement, while allowing pitch, roll and yaw. Bow-turbine forces are measured and recorded and a traffic light system is used to indicate safe transfer conditions.

The MX system is designed to be cost-effective and compact, and is easy to mount onto existing wind turbine support vessels. No alteration is required to the standard wind turbine access platform.

MaXccess provides a secure and measured attachment between the vessel and the turbine. It can also sustain much higher vertical loads without the bow moving, when compared to ‘bump and jump’ technology currently used. It allows for safe operation in higher sea states. In emergency situations, the vessel skipper can reverse thrust and immediately detach from the turbine, if required.

“We announced our plans in summer 2010, setting out a schedule for design and production. We are proud to have achieved all our objectives – OSBIT (On Spec, Budget In Time) – we now eagerly await feedback from users of the system.”

Full scale trials were completed in a large wave tank last December. Video clips can be viewed at www.osbitpower.com. These trials confirmed the validity of the OP approach and provided more insight into the nature of the challenge.


Source: osbitpower, June 13, 2011