The Carbon Trust has awarded Houlder and BMT Nigel Gee a contract to develop their Turbine Access System to extend its operability further offshore and in more onerous conditions.
The Turbine Access System (TAS) is a lightweight motion compensated gangway that will provide safe and reliable access to offshore wind turbine structures in seas of up to 2 m significant wave height.
The TAS is currently being fabricated and enhances safety by utilizing a damped roller system which allows the vessel a degree of vertical movement at the foundation. It then executes crew transfer via a lightweight, motion compensated gangway. In contrast to other motion compensated systems, the TAS does not require dynamic positioning (DP) of the vessel and neither the TAS nor the vessel is connected to the turbine at any point. The first sale of the system, to operator Turbine Transfers Ltd., has recently been announced with sea trials expected before the end of the year.
Additional funding from the Carbon Trust enables Houlder and BMT Nigel Gee to develop a "Mark II" concept and meet the challenges outlined by the Offshore Wind Accelerator Access (OWA-A) program, which is backed by the Trust and eight leading wind farm developers. Specifically, this means providing operation and maintenance (O&M) access in seas of 3 m significant wave height, as expected in the Mid-North Sea locations planned for future wind farm developments.
September 20, 2011