‘Wind of Change’
‘Wind of Change’ is the latest windfarm support vessel to be added to the fleet of French operator Louis Dreyfus Armateurs, writes Dag Pike.
Hevré Lapierre of LDA, commented, “In developing this new concept we had to move away from the French market to favour the wind farms of the North Sea with more advanced operators and support vessels focussed on wind turbines and not general oilfield maintenance”. Working with Salt Ship Design the team came up with the concept of Wind of Change, an advanced wind farm support vessel.
Wind of Change has been built at the Turkish shipyard of Cemre and is a compact vessel at 83 metres in length with a beam of 19.40 metres. There is accommodation for 65 technicians in addition to the 25 man crew. She is fitted with some of the most advanced personnel transfer systems that include a telescopic tower and transfer launch with a special boarding arrangement, with both designed to allow operations to continue under adverse conditions.
The transfer launch Speed of Change has already been described in MJ and was built at the H2X yard. It is stowed in a hull recess on the starboard side below the superstructure with a Ferri davit system for launch and recovery of the daughter craft. Further aft there is a hull recess with vertical fender poles that matches the vertical transfer rails found on wind farm pylons.
Propulsion is diesel electric with four MAN powered generators each developing 1600kW at 1000 rpm plus a 200kW emergency generator. These supply power to two 1600kW Schottel azimuthing thrusters at the stern. The 760 cubic metre fuel tank gives Wind of Change a 5,300 mile range at 10 knots or 30 days operating in DP mode. The maximum speed is 12.5 knots
The stern thrusters combine with two Schottel 1400kW tunnel thrusters are the bow and a further retractable azimuthing thruster of 880kW also at the bow to provide full dynamic positioning to DP2 standards. This combination is claimed to maintain station keeping in winds of up to 20 metres per second, three metre waves and currents of up to two knots. A passive anti-rolling system comprising two tanks is installed to reduce vessel motions when at rest.
All of the ship’s electric systems and motors have been supplied by ABB and the engine monitoring and automation systems were supplied by Valmet Marine Automation.
The motion compensated walk to work system in mounted on the aft deck and is located to operate on the port side of the ship. Supplied by Uptime, the system can operate in 2.5 metre waves and the telescopic pedestal can be set at 19 to 24 metres above sea level with the gangway extending to a maximum 31 metres with the double extension. The tower incorporates a lift for access. Also mounted on the aft deck but on the centre line is a motion compensated crane, the first one of its type supplied by TTS Colibri with a capacity of 1 tonne at 23 metres. This crane can compensate for motions of pitch, roll and heave. The deck has provision for the stowage of four 20 foot containers and a further six can be carried below in the working area where there is also a workshop and a container handling system.
Up on the bridge there is a full complement of electronics with the navigation equipment supplied by JRC and Transas. Communications comprise GMDSS equipment from JRC combined with an FBB satcom, an Iridium satellite telephone and a VSAT Ku band system. A helicopter landing pad is located on the foredeck.
Wind of Change will operate under a long term contract with North Sea company Ørsted on the wind farms of Borhkum Riffgrund 1 and 2 and at the Gode Wind 1 and 2 off the coast of Germany. A second vessel of this same type has been ordered and will operate with Ørsted at the Hornsea fields of the East Coast of the UK.
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