Challenges of achieving a high accessibility in remote offshore wind farms How will changing operational requirements affect access strategy during the operation and maintenance phase?
Examensarbete för masterexamen
Maritime management (MPMAR), MSc
The wind offshore industry has experienced a vast development since the start in the early 1990’s. At the end of 2013 there were 117.3 GW of installed wind energy capacity in the EU: 110.7 GW onshore and 6.6 GW offshore. A natural consequence of development offshore is a need for suitable vessels to undertake the assignments that arise from site development, site construction and further on to site operations and maintenance. During the operation & maintenance phase, which involves various support activities to carry out planned or unplanned maintenance, special designated Crew Transfer Vessels (CTV) conduct the majority of these. The tendency for wind offshore is to develop more and larger farms further offshore. There exists a need from many perspectives to develop and optimizing the access systems and the procedures around it in order to meet new operational demands for future wind farms. This thesis main purpose is to investigate how changing operational requirement in remote offshore wind farms will affect the safe and efficient transfer of personnel to wind turbines. To answer this, a qualitative research approach was selected where a mixed methodology was carried out involving on-bard observation on a real wind farm crew transfer vessel and through semi-structured interviews. Two main conclusions were drawn in the study. Firstly, the ambition for a high availability in remote offshore wind farms is crucial for the development and also to defend that push to be attractive in the future. The level of availability is dependent of an acceptable level of accessibility. Far offshore wind farms will require that the operational margins for crew transfer need to be increased in maintaining that. The limitations of the CTV’s can to some extent cover that and still remain safe and efficient, but an increased transfer time will limit that option. Secondly the SOV (Service Offshore Vessel) or other accommodation concept will cover the duties in working in rougher sea conditions however its efficiency in technician distribution needs to be increased if this should remain a cost effective solution.
Transport , Transportteknik och logistik , Transport , Transport Systems and Logistics