Finnish design firm unveils ice-capable SOV concept

Rendering of a new ice-capable service operation vessel (Photo: Aker Arctic)
Rendering of a new ice-capable service operation vessel (Photo: Aker Arctic)

Finnish naval architecture firm Aker Arctic has finalised design work on a new service operation vessel (SOV) for use in seasonally freezing seas. The concept design can be tailored to a specific operational area and can facilitate offshore wind farms' investment calculations.

The ice-going SOV is designed to be able to reach offshore wind turbines in all prevailing weather conditions, ensuring safe service throughout the year. Work on the concept combines operational capability in both open water and ice in an efficient design that minimises construction and operational costs. Clarksons Offshore and Renewables has supported the design work in areas specific to SOVs.

The primary objective was to develop a vessel concept that is as close as possible to an open-water service vessel, but also capable of safe, independent, year-round operations without incurring high additional costs or increased fuel consumption. The vessel's ice strengthening and ice class are suitable for operations across the entire Baltic Sea, including the Bay of Bothnia, where winter conditions are the most severe. The final ice-going capability will be determined based on the operational conditions in the target area, with the design tailored accordingly.

The vessel will utilise dynamic positioning to remain stationary when servicing turbines. A motion-compensated gangway wil provide a safe means of accessing the turbines.

Features such as midship location and winterisation will also be included. A passive roll damping system will ensure calm vessel movements in waves, enhancing safety and comfort for the crew.

Internal logistics and material handling on the vessel have also been thoroughly assessed. To minimise exposure to harsh environmental conditions, such as wind, rain, and the cold, indoor areas are utilised for movement and material transfer as much as possible.

The SOV can also be fitted with various propulsion options including batteries and diesel engines. Modifications will permit use of alternative fuels such as methanol and ammonia in the future.

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Baird Maritime / Work Boat World