Cornwall-based Buoyant Works is redesigning the accessibility of offshore wind turbines with the launch of WindShield.
A separate sheaf designed to fit around the wind turbine landing piles, WindShield’s high-grip outer surface and impact absorbing structure enables the safe movement of engineers from crew transfer vessels in often hazardous working conditions that are subject to both wave and wind action.
As well as increasing crew safety, once installed WindShield can extend the life of turbine landing piles by reducing impact loads through a compressible internal structure. WindShield can also extend the operational window of vessels thanks to increased grip and a more stable connection increasing the number of potential access days.
The sheaf also acts as protection against common wear, corrosion and impact damage on the landing piles, significantly reducing maintenance requirements and associated costs for wind farm managers.
Currently in the prototype testing phase, ORE Catapult – through Marine-i – is providing support in development planning, product development and marketing of WindShield, and will facilitate industry trials prior to market launch in March 2019.