Innovative Windfarm Service Vessel Design

By Keith Henderson at June 28, 2011 07:27
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The increasing prevalence of locating windfarms in coastal and offshore locations and their requirement for regular maintenance visits, has heralded the development of several designs of craft dedicated for the purpose.


Caption: The 19m Windfarm Support Catamaran showing the Active Fender System in the bow.
Image credit: BMT Nigel Gee

BMT Nigel Gee, UK has designed a Windfarm Service Vessel incorporating technologies to enhance the operational efficiency of the craft. The new Windfarm Support Catamaran as it is called has an aluminum hull of LOA 64 ft (19.4 m), beam 23 ft (7 m) and draft of 3.2 ft (1 m). Displacing 39 tonnes, the foredeck area is 300 ft2 (28 m2),, sufficient for 2 x 10 ft containers with an afterdeck of 100 ft2 (14 m2) sufficient for one 10 ft container. The crew numbers three persons and the vessel can carry up to 12 passengers. Propulsion is by twin MTU 8V2000M72 each rated at 720 kW (965 hp)  and powering a Hamilton type 571 waterjet.

Considerable thought has gone into the practical aspects of the vessel’s duties. Operating in coastal areas and shallow waters can produce very uncomfortable seas and seasickness impairs work performance. The vessel offers a patented ride control system from Naiad Dynamics called Active Motion Interceptor to provide roll and pitch control while optimizing running trim for better speed and fuel economy.


Caprtion: The superstructure is fully isolated from the hull using rubber isolation mounts, thereby eliminating structure bourne vibration and substantially reducing ambient noise levels.
Image credit: BMT Nigel Gee

Passenger and crew comfort is further improved by the use of a resiliently mounted superstructure which is fully isolated from the hull using rubber isolation mounts. This eliminates structure bourne vibration and substantially reduces ambient noise levels.

Caption: The  Turbine Access System (TAS) is a self contained lightweight motion compensated gangway that provides safe and reliable access from workboats onto wind turbine structures
Image credit: BMT Nigel Gee

Going bow-on to the wind turbine column is simplified using a patented Active Fender System that reduces impact loads so that a (wind) Turbine Access System (TAS) can be deployed. TAS is a self contained system developed with marine engineers Houlder and is a lightweight motion compensated gangway that provides safe and reliable access from workboats onto wind turbine structures. It is fully automatic and unlike some other systems does not require the mother vessel to have dynamic positioning nor have a connection to the turbine column.

Comments (5) -

Aloha from Hawaii.  The vessel has some interesting design inovations.  It should open other ideas for more vessels and with ease of access will open up the world for more windfarms that are needed.

Clark E. Dodge |     6/28/2011 1:08:22 PM #

may I ask what the design speed, maximum speed and bollard pull characteristics of the vessel.

what is the maximum sea state that she will be able to operate.

Thank you

mehmet atlar |     6/29/2011 8:57:22 AM #

Who amonst us actually thinks any vessel should be designed to ram into a platform and keep position by the skipper ramping up the thrusters and pushing harder into it?? DP is the way forward lets stop penny pinching and get on with it.

Dennis Farrell |     6/30/2011 5:59:00 AM #

In a recent international competition, 10 to 12 European power companies were looking for new and imaginative ideas for thier windfarms maintenance programs.
They did not want to see the same old crafts and there was some interesting ideas posted. So why do these reputable designers keep coming up with the same old stuff, the way I see it is the safe transferral of personal from the tender to the tower and back that is paramount. This can be done without connecting to the tower if they really want to do it. We have some good designs but we were told that they were unproven and not realistic, so was going to the moon.  

Don Roos |     6/30/2011 4:46:03 PM #

I'm kind of wondering why this post is so popular? There's like a gazillion on aol search. Whats really going on? At least it's not copied like other sites.

Margart Henneberg |     7/18/2011 9:09:26 PM #

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