MHI Vestas has formed a partnership with Australian engineering firm Verton to improve safety and speed up installations by remotely controlling lifting operations – one of the most dangerous activities in offshore wind, according to the G+ Offshore Wind Health and Safety Organisation.
Verton has invented a remote-controlled load orientation solution to precisely control the movement of a lifted load.
It has also been contracted to produce new tools to handle MHI Vestas’ Smart Damper solution, which is designed to actively reduce fatigue loads during turbine installation by reducing side-to-side and back-and-forth movements.
MHI Vestas plans to use these solutions to increase the speed and safety of lifting operations when installing its offshore wind turbines.
Verton’s managing director Trevor Bourne explained that the company’s Columbus 7.5 SpinPod will be “capable of precisely controlling the orientation of the custom lifting yoke and its load, including setting and holding a desired orientation”.
This “completely removes the need for taglines and for workers to be near the landing area of loads,” Bourne added, improving safety and reducing the number of workers required for turbine installation.
Earlier this year, a health and safety watchdog identified lifting operations and working at height as the two most potentially dangerous activities in offshore wind.
The G+ Offshore Wind Health and Safety Organisation also reported that the number of workdays lost due to injury in Europe and the US rose last year.