Houlder and BMT Nigel Gee announced their jointly developed Turbine Access System has successfully completed offshore trials.
The TAS was fitted to Turbine Transfers’s 24m Cemlyn Bay for a four week trials period at RWE’s Rhyl Flats offshore wind farm.
The Cemlyn Bay made multiple trips to the RWE site, 8km north-west of Llandudno, completing trials last month.
Despite experiencing wave heights in excess of 1.8m, the TAS gangway provided a stable transfer platform with the system performing within its safe operating limits.
“We have been very impressed by the performance of the TAS and believe that this provides a step change in transfer safety and operability,” said Hazel Phillips, general manager at Turbine Transfers.
The BMT Group and Holder said that the TAS was a lightweight motion compensated gangway providing substantially improved access to offshore wind turbines for maintenance personnel.
The TAS increases the level of safety and operability, both of which are prime goals for offshore wind farm operators and developers, they added.
A key feature of the TAS is that it can be fitted to a wide range of existing wind farm support vessels and it does not require the host vessel to have DP, nor does the TAS platform connect to the turbine structure in any way.
“It’s one thing seeing an animation but actually seeing it on a wind turbine in heavy seas was most impressive,” said Frederic Perdrix, Houlder Chief Technology Officer.
Further assessment of the TAS is now planned as RWE, supported by the Carbon Trust, has shown interest in undertaking further trials.