Six innovative vessels and transfer systems with the potential to improve access to offshore wind turbines will share a further £650,000 from the UK’s offshore wind accelerator (OWA) programme, managed by the Carbon Trust.
The winning designs have already been identified as offering new solutions to the challenge of supporting the repair and maintenance of offshore wind turbines. They were amongst 13 initial designs supported by the Carbon Trust and its eight private sector partners as part of the UK’s efforts to improve the "economics of offshore wind".
The six chosen designs will now proceed to the next stage of the Carbon Trust’s OWA, during which funds and technical support will focus on "de-risking" in order to encourage commercialisation.
The ultimate goal of the OWA is to increase turbine availability by ensuring access for repair and maintenance on at least 300 days per year. Increasing the number of days when turbines can be accessed is recognised as a key challenge for the offshore wind industry.
The Carbon Trust estimates that the global market for wind turbine access solutions will reach £2bn/ year by 2020.
The six winning designs are:
- Autobrow personnel transfer system, from Otso and designed by Ad Hoc Marine Designs
- TAS2 personnel transfer system, from BMT Nigel Gee and Houlder
- Nauticraft, a vessel with a suspension system to maintain stability
- TranSPAR by ExtremeOcean
- Wavecraft Surface Effect Ship by Umoe Mandel, which adapts a design used by the Norwegian Navy
- Launch and recovery system by DIVX.