Ørsted Targets Ladder-Less Offshore Wind Access System with New Buy
Ørsted has acquired a 22.5% share in the Scotland-based Pict Offshore with an aim to mature a new ladder-less access system for the offshore wind sector.
The Get Up Safe (GUS) system is a motion-compensated hoist solution that enables technicians to transfer between small moving vessels and offshore wind turbines without turbine boat landing and ladders.
Using the technology means technicians no longer have to step from a moving boat onto a ladder and then climb to reach the base of the turbine, but instead they can clip onto the system and be hoisted up to the turbine base directly from the boat.
The hoist automatically adjusts the line position to take account of the boat movements so that in periods of high and varying wave heights there is no danger of collision between the technician and the boat, Ørsted said.
In addition, as the technology removes the need for external access ladders, the amount of steel required in the structure is reduced providing further potential for cost reduction.
“This game-changing new technology can provide a more efficient, safe and cost-effective way of transferring technicians onto offshore wind turbines,” said Mark Porter, Senior Vice President for Offshore Operations at Ørsted. “As the global offshore wind industry continues to grow, the opportunities for this technology are huge.”
Pict Offshore, a spin-off from height safety innovator Limpet Technology, began developing the product in 2016, and from 2017, prototypes of the system were tested at the ORE Catapult’s 7MW Levenmouth Demonstration Turbine.
The technology is now patent-protected and in the final stages of development. More than 1,600 successful hoists have already been conducted at Ørsted sites as part of the testing process, the Danish developer said.