FEBRUARY 21, 2014 — A new type of construction vessel could make projects such as the installation of tidal energy turbines feasible in more places.
British marine renewable energy specialist Mojo Maritime and Hamburg, Germany, headquartered shipowner Hammonia Reederei have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to finance and build the HF 4 High Flow Installation Vessel.
The HF 4 has a twin hull configuration designed by Voith and is powered by four Voith Schneider Propellers (VSP) giving it the ability to operate in currents up to ten knots using dynamic positioning
Engineered by Voith naval architects, the design is based on Mojo Maritime's vision of a vessel designed to install tidal energy turbines in high energy tidal streams.
With a length of 59.5 meters and a beam of 28.6 me-ters, the HF 4 has an open deck space of approx. 1,000 sq.m, accommodates 44 people and has a maximum A-frame crane lift capacity of 250 tons.
With these specifications, it can handle all tidal energy work tasks from the installation of the turbine support structure to the mounting of the turbine and the long-term maintenance of the unit. It also has a much wider potential, including in the offshore wind sector and more gen-eral subsea construction market.
The twin hull design provides the stability required.
"The center position of the moon pool allows operations to be carried out at the point of the least vessel motion during swells", says Stefan Moyé, Engineering Manager at Voith Turbo Schneider Propulsion. "In addition, the extremely short response times of the Voith Schneider Propellers allow precise dynamic positioning, even under the most adverse tidal conditions."
"As an offshore service provider, we were able to draw up a detailed set of requirements for the ideal construction vessel. But we entered unchartered waters when it came to the actual development," says Mojo Maritime MD Richard Parkinson. "Voith has been a competent and reliable partner to us throughout the entire process, and they managed to turn our vision into a ground-breaking, economically unique concept."
The development of the basic design by Voith included the calculation of damage and intact stability, the design of the steel structure as well as of the vessel outfitting and machinery systems.
Mojo Maritime and Hammonia are now working together to appoint a shipyard to build the vessel.
The project is receiving support from the Technology Strategy Board – the U.K.'s innovation agency, whose goal is to accelerate economic growth by stimulating and supporting business-led innovation.