High waves, heavy wind and strong currents must not stop service vessels, used on offshore wind farms, from doing their job. To meet the immense demands on the vessel, it needs to be easy to maneuver. It must safely load on and off people and equipment. Also, it needs to be sustainable and maintain a good working environment onboard. Volvo Penta’s Inboard Performance System (IPS) is an optimal solution that makes life easy for the people working in the wind power industry. Here is why!
A highly competitive wind farming industry with tough demands on the supply vessels
Offshore wind farms need a lot of maintenance. Due to the wind farms’ remote locations, there are immense demands on the supply vessels delivering these necessities. The vessels need to be easy to maneuver in all weather conditions, in strong currents, heavy wind and high waves. The vessels must also be able to cover long distances but still maintain low fuel consumption. In this business, an hourly charge is made for each service technician. Therefore, it is important to be able to operate at high speed, with a high level of fuel efficiency.
The system contributes to a high level of comfort on the boat. Both the sound and vibration levels are lower than with engines with inboard shafts. The vessels must deliver a good working environment onboard because the operators really care about the wellbeing of both the crew and the transported personnel. The service technicians have to work at between 80 and 100 meters up in the air. Therefore, they must not become seasick on their way to the wind farms. The operators also want to have a clear view of the total cost of ownership. Therefore, the total cost of ownership and the uptime requirements are crucial when choosing equipment for vessels operating in the wind farming industry.
Njord Offshore – value fuel efficiency and high bollard thrust
Njord Offshore is a UK-based company transporting service technicians and material to offshore wind farms in countries including the UK, Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands. Their vessels carry technicians and equipment long distances to and from offshore wind farms. The vessels need to, in a safe way, load and unload both people and equipment. When pushing on to a wind turbine it is important to have a high bollard thrust in order to keep the bow fixed to the boat landing, irrespective of the sea conditions, which the Volvo Penta IPS system delivers. This makes it easier to compensate for current and wind. It also compensates for maneuvering, since the vessels can be held in a fixed position in relation to the wind turbine. This is incredibly important from a safety perspective. In 2015, Njord Offshore launched four new crew vessels, all equipped with four Volvo Penta IPS900s.
“Maneuvering onto an offshore turbine in rough seas is tricky and you need to have a responsive propulsion system that can maneuver the vessel with precision. Volvo Penta’s IPS has succeeded in combining maneuverability with efficiency”, says Tom Mehew, Director on Njord Offshore.
Volvo Penta’s IPS – delivers efficiency and high uptime for professional users
Since 2013, Volvo Penta’s Inboard Performance System (IPS) has been available for professional users to fulfill the high demands of vessels operating in the offshore industry. It has unique forward-facing propellers and a complete driveline. Therefore, Volvo Penta’s IPS is the optimal solution for vessels servicing wind farms. The system has a high level of efficiency and relatively low fuel consumption. These are major benefits for boats that rapidly must cover long distances. IPS offers fuel efficiency that is 30 percent lower than that of traditional propulsion solutions, which also cuts carbon emissions.
“As Volvo Penta has designed everything from the propeller to the hub of the steering wheel, we are able to offer our customers a totally different service, compared to our competitors”, says Björn Säljö, Vice President Product Management at Volvo Penta.
Volvo Penta contributes to a sustainable environment through wind farming
Wind farming is a growing market. More than 100 gigawatt (GW) of offshore projects are proposed or under development in Europe. The European Wind Energy Association has set a target of 40 GW installed by 2020 and 150 GW installed by 2030. Volvo Penta envisions an enormous business potential, especially for IPS. In addition to establishing business relationships with boatyards and boat designers, Volvo Penta will focus even more on working directly with operators like Njord Offshore. Sustainability and environmental care are dear to Volvo Penta’s heart. Thus, the main cause for developing efficient power systems to offshore vessels is not only to meet customers’ needs. We also want to contribute to well-functioning wind farms. Including enable an environmental friendly utilization of our world’s natural resources.
I hope you enjoyed reading my article about wind farming and IPS. Would you like to find out more about the offshore industry or Volvo Penta’s offer? Pop by our website or contact me directly for more information.