Cwind Pioneer is a hybrid vessel capable of operating in rough sea conditions (CWind)

Posted on August 2, 2021 at 6:06 p.m. by

The Maritime Executive

As the offshore wind industry grows, it requires advances in design and new vessels to provide the scope of services required. CWind, a provider of crew transfer vessel project and operation services, is promoting its new vessel as “the world’s first hybrid-powered Surface Effect Vessel (SES)”. Classified by Bureau Veritas (BV), the wind pioneer is designed to provide services to wind farms located further offshore and with its unique characteristics it will be able to operate for more days and offer better profitability.

Among the unique design features, the vessel features an innovative diesel and electric drivetrain with considerable battery storage and operates on an air cushion, making it capable of handling harsher sea conditions. According to the company, the wind pioneer can operate at speeds in excess of 43 knots and can transfer up to 24 people safely and comfortably, even in extreme weather conditions with significant wave heights of up to 2 meters allowing for larger operational windows. Its air-cushioned motion control system provides significant benefits, with smoother, more comfortable conditions on board and increased operational days at sea.

The hybrid diesel and battery power system also allows the vessel to operate purely on battery power alongside or at slow speeds, such as when transiting restricted waterways or on standby in the wind farm. CWind reports that this will help reduce fuel consumption and reduce diesel engine hours, which will reduce CO2 emissions. They also predict that hybrid-electric technology will reduce engine wear and therefore maintenance costs. Reduced noise and vibration levels also provide greater comfort for offshore personnel, helping to ensure they are fit for duty when they arrive at offshore wind farms.

“The success of wind pioneer has been achieved through years of research and development, resulting in the fastest, safest and most fuel efficient CTV on the market,” said Nathanael Allison, Managing Director of CWind, part of the Global Marine Group. . “By collaborating with industry bodies including Bureau Veritas, our clients, Ørsted, and a range of highly skilled naval architects, shipbuilders and marine engineers, we have managed to achieve something truly exceptional. . As the wind pioneer continues to operate in the field, we will also be able to track a wealth of data to adapt and improve the performance of our hybrid vessels in the future.

Bureau Veritas has been involved in the project from its earliest design stages, cooperating with the designers, ESNA – a Norwegian naval architecture company, and Global Marine Group’s in-house engineering department and the shipbuilders, Wight Shipyard Co. As the company explains, implementing a hybrid system comes with a good level of complexity that needs to be carefully managed. BV’s “Electric-Hybrid” rating addresses the complexity of these systems, defining requirements for storage, power distribution, control and instrumentation, as well as the tests that need to be performed, particularly with regard to power management and critical safety considerations, such as thermal runaway.

the wind pioneer is currently in use at the Borssele 1 and 2 offshore wind farms in the Netherlands.