Effects of offshore transits under scrutiny in wellbeing study

The well-being of crew being transported to offshore wind farms in choppy waters will be studied as part of a €3.6 million (US$4.3 million) project to improve safety.

The DemoWind2-funded Improving the Safety and Productivity of Offshore Wind Technician in Transit (SPOWTT) project, co-ordinated by the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult, will reveal how the motion of a vessel in transit during certain weather conditions affects workers’ psychological and physiological well-being.

Unscheduled operations and maintenance account for almost a quarter of the lifetime cost of an offshore farm, but a proportion of that is time wasted in failed crew transits or workers unable to carry out their duties as a direct result of rough weather.

The aim is to create a tool that will help marine co-ordinators determine whether to proceed with deploying personnel in turbulent conditions.

SPOWTT will provide a forecasting tool, a monitoring tool and help match future assets to environmental conditions.

Head of Maritime Operations at MARIN Gijs Struijk said operational data will be used to supplement its models of vessel behaviour to achieve, “comprehensive and accurate modelling of the impact of every voyage.”

The collaboration involves seven partners from across Europe, including Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, the University of Hull, SMC, Dutch research institutes MARIN and ECN, and data service provider BMO Offshore.

The partners estimate that revenue could increase by €11million (US$13 million) per annum if the solution was applied by 2020 to the fleet of 1,300 Siemens 3.6MW wind turbine generators.

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