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Offshore Wind Technician uses Limpet crew transfer system to access wind turbine | ORE Catapult


Keeping the blades of an offshore wind farm turning requires regular visits from maintenance technicians. But getting onto and off the turbines from a boat is among the most stressful and dangerous parts of the job and, when waves are higher than 1.5 metres, transfers are considered too risky. Failed transfers and lost energy production are hugely expensive for operators, and this problem is set to become worse as the industry pushes into sites that are further from shore.

Wed 13 Jun 2018
Last Updated
Tue 21 Aug 2018

Increasing Access

The Edinburgh-based SME Limpet Technology is developing a game-changing offshore personnel transfer system aimed at alleviating this problem. This dynamic hoist and fall arrest system uses in-built lasers track the vessel’s deck, adjusting the height of the hoist in real time. This compensates for the motion of the vessel and allows the technician to clip in and transfer onto the turbine more easily. The system aims to increase access to far offshore turbines from 50% of the year to 80%.

The system uses inbuilt lasers to track the motion of a vessel’s deck, adjusting the height of the hoist in real time. 

Catapult Impact

Energy Park Fife offers an ideal location to develop our new product to bring it to market,” said Philip Taylor, Limpet Technology’s Head of Business Development. Trials at the 7MW Levenmouth Demonstration Turbine have been invaluable to Limpet’s research and development programme – so much so that the company has moved its manufacturing base to be closer to the turbine, creating skilled jobs where they are most needed, and the system is now being installed and tested on a real-world wind farm.

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Based in Edinburgh, Limpet's innovative personnel transfer system is a boost for UK manufacturing and the growing offshore wind supply chain.

The system could increase access to far-offshore wind turbines from 50% of the year to 80%, increasing maintenance windows and turbine availability.

Transfers are considered too risky in waves higher than 1.5m. Limpet's system can double the safe significant wave height and make safe transfers possible in 3m waves.

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