O&M activities make up almost a quarter of the lifetime costs of an offshore wind farm and provide a huge opportunity for cost reduction through innovation of products and services.
Located in the Port of Grimsby, the UK Operations & Maintenance Centre of Excellence (O&M CoE) is building on the Humber region’s energy heritage and extensive experience of servicing offshore wind farms. The O&M CoE is a national hub for enhancing the UK’s world leading position in offshore wind operational performance. It is a catalyst for innovation, technology, cross-sector collaboration and best practice to enhance safety, reduce cost and support the growth of UK O&M.
By bringing together offshore wind owners, operators, supply chain, industry leaders, regulators and academia, the O&M Centre of Excellence will work with UK industry to drive solution-focused innovation and improvements in O&M.
As a catalyst for collaboration, development and rapid improvements in the industry, the O&M CoE is established to:
The SPOWTT project studied the psychological and physiological wellbeing of crew being transferred to offshore wind farms in rough waters and has produced a sail/no sail decision-support tool for marine coordinators, as well as a new understanding of seasickness and how it develops. It took a novel approach by using digital technology to create a decision-making tool that allows marine coordinators to make a more informed decision regarding crew transfers.
SPOWTT has, for the first time, measured in parallel the motion of crew transfer vessels in certain weather conditions and sea states, as well as the psychological and physiological well-being of the technicians onboard.
In direct response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, ORE Catapult’s Grimsby-based Operations & Maintenance Centre of Excellence established the Offshore Wind Operational Contingency Planning Group. The Group provides a single point of liaison between UK Government, regulators, the offshore wind industry and its supply chain. It supports effective collaboration to help deal with more immediate, short-term issues and plan for the medium to long-term challenges, maintaining business continuity in offshore wind development, construction and O&M.
Major outcomes included establishing a Crew Transfer Vessel (CTV) cross-sector innovation challenge to find a solution to partition crew and increase numbers onboard the vessel that had been restricted due to Covid-19. The O&M CoE also conducted an industry survey and economic analysis, producing a report for UK Government so it was able to understand the major concerns of UK offshore wind, and support the industry accordingly.
UK-based Bristol Industrial & Research Associates Ltd (Biral) has created an innovative solution that provides operators with advanced, real-time information about thunderstorm activity within a 45 nautical mile radius of a wind farm
Biral has been working closely with ORE Catapult to further develop its BTD-350 thunderstorm and lightning detection system for offshore windfarms. In 2019, the SME installed it technology for testing at our 7MW Levenmouth Demonstration Turbine in Fife. With support from ORE Catapult, Biral now has the opportunity to test and demonstrate their technology further in real-world conditions at Vattenfall’s European Offshore Wind Demonstration Centre, off the coast of Aberdeen. This will give windfarm owner/operators increased confidence in the product and open up a route to market for the technology.
To learn more about the range of projects that ORE Catapult is undertaking as part of the O&M CoE, download the project summary reports below.
Katharine joined ORE Catapult in March 2020 after 12 years in operations and maintenance of renewable energy. She has worked for owner operators and OEMs managing the production and logistics for hydropower and offshore wind installations.
As Operations & Maintenance Centre of Excellence Manager, Katharine brings an understanding of the hurdles and practical challenges to be overcome for a new product or service to make an impact in the offshore renewable industry.