Divex gets Carbon Trust support for Launch and Recovery System

divexmicroAberdeen, Scotland, based international diving equipment technology company Divex is receiving Carbon Trust support for its Launch and Recovery System (LARS) through the Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA) program.

OWA is a project launched by the Carbon Trust and eight international offshore wind farm developers to help meet the European Union's 15 percent renewable energy target for the U.K. The Divex LARS has been selected as part of the program's efforts to find offshore wind turbine access solutions.

Divex's Launch and Recovery System (LARS) uses the established ramp recovery method for high sea state launch and recovery but applies this in a way that enables fitment to SWATH or catamaran mother vessels or possibly even mono hulls.

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The principle is an inclinable and semi-submersible cradle that can be raised up to the vessel or be lowered into the sea to allow launch and recovery. The unique design of the mechanical connection to the vessel automatically alters the angle of the cradle from horizontal (when stowed) to a suitable ramp angle when the cradle/boat is in the water.

The cradle is raised and lowered by a fast action constant tension winch that automatically synchronizes the cradle/boat motion with the swell to avoid slap and snatch during launching and recovery.

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An automatic bow latch holds the boat securely in the cradle until the moment of launch and similarly captures the boat during recovery.

Derek Clarke, Joint Managing Director, Divex Ltd, says "the launch and recovery system for daughter craft we have designed should significantly reduce the complexity and risk currently associated with such a maneuver to the benefit of all concerned."

Divex also submitted designs for its Crew Access Bridge technology (CRAB). CRAB is a motion compensated personnel access bridge to enable personnel to move directly in high sea states from a support vessel to the turbine Work Platform typically at 20 m above LAT (Lowest Astronomical Tide).

CRAB combines established position sensing, accelerometer and hydraulic control technology with a novel telescopic bridge structure which uses counterbalance principles to create a light weight, low power and inherently safe design. With an expected landing load onto the Work Platform in the range 150 to 300 kg.

While it did not receive funding for this, Divex did received a letter of support from the Carbon Trust for this design: "We were also impressed with your CRAB design – in fact it was in the top 20 of the 450+ entries, and we are convinced that you have the capabilities to translate it into a compelling product. However, the OWA only has funding for 12 concepts, so will be unable to provide financial support for it. Nevertheless, given the quality of the idea, we would be willing to provide you with a letter of support if this would be useful for attracting investment for the development of the design."

Divex's expansion into the renewable sector is progressing beyond the Launch and Recovery system and Crew Access Bridge and it is currently looking at novel foundations.

September 21, 2011

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