Ørsted is testing a Surface Effect Ship, a hybrid crew transfer vessel (CTV) between a hovercraft and a catamaran, on the route from Esbjerg Port to the Horns Rev 2 offshore wind farm in the Danish North Sea, Umoe Mandal said.
Ørsted, the operator of more than 25 offshore wind farms worldwide in different weather conditions, will use the experience of the Horns Rev 2 trials to assess where the new vessel could possibly be used.
With a maximum speed of up to 80km/h and the ability to work in harsher weather conditions, the Surface Effect Ship is said to reduce operations and maintenance costs related to the transfer of technicians to offshore wind turbines.
“A faster service vessel means shorter transit time, and therefore, technicians get more work time at windmill parks. When operating windmill parks, we have days where we can’t get access to the field due to weather; a more robust craft makes it possible to transfer wind technicians, allowing for more offshore working days per year,” said Håkan Borgström, Senior Manager of Operations Technology – Concept Line at Ørsted.
During the testing period, Ørsted will collect information about the vessel’s actual speed and fuel consumption, as well as the engineers’ experience.
Umoe Mandal built the Surface Effect Ship in Norway, while the CTV is chartered and operated by Denmark’s World Marine Offshore.
The vessel is shaped like a catamaran, with flexible skirts fitted between the hulls, Umoe Mandal said. Air is pumped between the skirts providing overpressure and enabling the ship to rise above the water, offering lower water resistance and higher speed.