A consortium of European offshore wind and maritime industry players has initiated a project aimed at improving safety and productivity of technicians performing service activities on offshore wind farms by expanding the weather window for Crew Transfer Vessel (CTV) use.
The project consortium consists of BMO Offshore, Energy research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN), Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult (ORE Catapult), Siemens, Specialist Marine Consultants, University of Hull and Maritime Research Institute Netherlands (MARIN).
The project, Safety and Productivity of Offshore Wind Technician Transit or SPOWTT, will combine measurements on board the CTVs and the surrounding environment with psychological and physiological methods to monitor the well-being of the technicians as they transit in different sea conditions.
The obtained data on links between environment, ship motions and technician well-being is expected to result in a tool that will support the CTV launching authority to make the decision to launch, to not launch, or to launch but only with certain control measures.
Optimising how CTVs make use of the ‘weather window’ to deliver technicians will improve productivity and lead to increased turbine availability, according to MARIN.
When combined, it is estimated that this innovation will lead to a 0.7% reduction in the levelised cost of electricity (LCOE), equivalent to additional revenue of more than EUR 1.2m a year for a 500MW wind farm.
To make uptake as rapid as possible the ‘model’ created will be open access and will be promoted for use across Europe across the existing and future CTV fleet.
SPOWTT has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, and from the “Topsector Energie-subsidie” programme of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs.