The Eagle offshore access system developed by the Netherlands-based Eagle-Access has been successfully tested on the Horns Rev 2 offshore windfarm in Denmark
The system, which was developed to transfer personnel and cargo from vessels to unmanned offshore installations and wind turbines, was installed on Vroon Offshore’s vessel VOS Star and was used to safely transfer around 150 people.
“We completed about 300 transfers with and without cargo,” said the Dutch company. “The system proved to be safe, comfortable and reliable during offshore testing. The people being transferred felt safe at all times.
“They were surprised by the speed and comfort of a transfer, in a closed cabin, from the deck of the vessel to the platform on the wind turbine, and vice versa. “They did not need to make an arduous climb up the tower, just step in and be transferred.
“The switch from people to cargo transfer was done in seconds. We demonstrated the ability of the system to transfer cargo without it swinging, and the remote-controlled disconnection of cargo onto the wind generator platform.
“The novelty of the system was highly appreciated by all users who regarded it as a considerable safety improvement, avoiding the presence of operators on the platform to guide and release the cargo.”
Eagle-Access said the demonstration on Horns Rev 2 was challenging, not least because of the extremely small size of the landing zone on the TP platform.
The company said the Eagle’s fully electrically driven mode of operation ensured “extremely precise control. Supported by cameras and object detection it was easy to land even on this small spot in different weather conditions.”
Another advantage of the Eagle access system is that it allows for the vessel to adopt a wide range of headings when it is deployed, up to 270°.
“Optimal headings for the vessel are always possible due to the large reach and mounting on the aft of the vessel and 360° rotation of the system,” the company said. “VOS Star is quite a small, DP2 vessel,” said Eagle Access.
After being brought to a quay at IJmuiden by road, the Eagle was installed on the vessel’s deck in a day. Once installed on the deck, the Eagle was immediately available and used for deck-to-quay handling of 1-tonne loads.
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