Wind Farm Support Vessels – Hybrids Come Closer

Article written by Stevie Knight, post on MaritimeJournal.com on July 6, 2017

 

Will the WSFVs of the future run on batteries?Will the WSFVs of the future run on batteries?

“When you look at the considerations for WFSVs,” said Andrew Eydt of PBES, “Human safety as well as operational concerns are top, and what you want for both is redundancy that’s key.”

However, the high speed transits are fairly long, so the batteries can get another chance at a top up and there’s plenty of time to absorb it without demanding more from the engine capacity.

This is often followed by hours of relatively short transits between towers and extended periods of loitering around the windfarms on standby. “This low-speed loitering presents a very inefficient loads cycle for the engines,” pointed out Mr Eydt. However, while the ‘pushing on’ element of engaging with the towers is a typically low engine load scenario, there are typically sudden changes as the waters surge across the foundations – here, it seems that batteries’ ability to respond in milliseconds might yield important, hitherto unexplored, advantages.

Of course, there’s the unpredictability of the operational pattern which is where hybrids again win: even if the onsite manoeuvring continues for an extended periods, it’s possible to cycle energy storage and engines alternately.

All this makes a very good case for batteries or does it?

What has put many operators off is the physical footprint of the energy solutions and those unpredictable operational matters make WSFV designs particularly weight conscious – and operators wary.

However, battery technology has shaped up a great deal in just a few years, doubling output for the same weight, and also halving in price. What has put many operators off is the physical footprint of the energy solutions and those unpredictable operational matters make WSFV designs particularly weight conscious – and operators wary. However, battery technology has shaped up a great deal in just a few years, doubling output for the same weight, and also halving in price.

Read the full article at MaritimeJournal.com