The Carbon Trust’s Offshore Wind Accelerator has announced four winners of a competition designed to accelerate the development of technology that will enable a reduction in emissions and fuel consumption for crew transfer vessels used on offshore windfarms
Submissions were received from a range of single applicants and partnerships, representing a wide range of technologies and alternative fuel sources. The winners are Chartwell Marine and Seaspeed Marine Consulting; CWind; Robert Allan Limited; and Windcat Workboats and CMB Technologies.
Each will receive advice from the Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA) partners to support the commercialisation of their technologies, in addition to a share of £300,000 (US$386,000) in funding.
The OWA said the selected technology concepts demonstrate the potential to reduce fuel consumption and emissions compared to conventional crew transfer vessels (CTVs). They span a range of technology readiness levels: from desktop studies, through to prototype vessel construction.
Chartwell Marine and Seaspeed Marine Consulting submitted a desktop study into developing a 15-m hybrid diesel/electric outboard CTV. The concept combines a high freeboard hull with two diesel and two electric outboard engines, which have not previously been used on CTVs. The design proposes to operate in up to 1.5 m significant wave heights and transit speeds of 20-25 knots.
CWind Limited submitted a proposal supporting technology development for constructing a prototype hybrid diesel/electric surface effect ship (SES) CTV. The design combines a hybrid diesel/electric drivetrain with proven SES technology provided by the Norwegian design house ESNA. This 22-m vessel will be able to carry 24 passengers at a transit speed of nearly 40 knots in significant wave heights in excess of 1.5 m.
Robert Allan Limited submitted a desktop study for a methanol/electric hybrid CTV. This concept takes advantage of the high volumetric energy density and stable liquid properties of methanol, in combination with a hybrid battery propulsion system. The study will look at the feasibility of applying this novel fuel type to a 21-m CTV, capable of 20 knot transit speeds, in addition to boost and electric-only operational modes.
Windcat Workboats and CMB Technologies submitted a proposal supporting the development of a prototype hydrogen-powered CTV which utilises hydrogen-diesel co-combustion. The Hydrocat 1, based on the efficient Windcat Mk3.5 platform, will be capable of using a majority of green hydrogen as fuel, delivering emission savings without compromising vessel performance.
The competition is being delivered by the Carbon Trust, with support from Black & Veatch, on behalf of the nine OWA industry partners: EnBW, Equinor, innogy, Ørsted, RWE Renewables, ScottishPower Renewables, Shell, SSE, and Vattenfall. The work is expected to conclude at the end of 2020.