Offshore vessel design: Often evolution, sometimes revolution | KNUD E. HANSEN
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17 October 2014

Article from www.pes.eu.com

Founded in 1937, KNUD E. HANSEN has both experienced and been at the forefront of many of the dramatic changes in commercial ship design and has made its mark on over 15,000 vessels. We took a look at the company offerings and discover how it became a key operator in today’s wind industry.

The marine industry in general, and shipbuilding in particular, tends to be rather conservative businesses and for good reason; the sea can be a dangerous place and proven solutions provide confidence and predictability. However, with advances continually being made across all the technologies that underpin the sector, being too conservative can also block vital innovation.

When developing new projects, KNUD E. HANSEN starts with a blank sheet of paper, considering all the possible solutions. Existing designs and technologies are re-evaluated, but in parallel with that a completely fresh approach is also taken; evaluating new and emerging technologies and assessing their potential in the context of each project.

The company also studies existing systems and techniques to see if they can be applied in new ways. Ultimately, the design teams consider every possibility however innovative or traditional, with the objective of ensuring that the final proposal best fulfils the needs of the customer.

The design work is sometimes preceded by transport studies looking at optimising the type and number of vessels required for installation work.

KNUD E. HANSEN also applies this design to vessel conversions and the design of customised equipment for the transportation, handling and installation of wind turbine components.

The offshore wind sector has grown dramatically in recent years in the number and size of both the turbines themselves and of the collective installations.

The engineering challenges have meanwhile increased greatly in scale and scope, requiring the application of specialist knowledge right across the project process from planning, design and engineering, through to installation and commissioning.

KNUD E. HANSEN has the skills and experience to act as a valuable marine partner at every stage of an offshore wind project, particularly for civil and land based engineering companies with limited offshore experience.

The success of any offshore wind turbine project requires in-depth knowledge of the demanding environmental conditions that the finished installation will encounter, and a detailed understanding of the various stages that it must go through in order to be delivered on time and on budget.

The company divides these project phases as follows, and offers specialist staff and resources for each:

  • Tender assistance
  • Vessel selection
  • Engineering and operations
  • Logistics and transport
  • Installation
  • Demobilisation
“The engineering challenges have meanwhile increased greatly 
in scale and scope, requiring the application of specialist knowledge 
right across the project process”

Focus: Pacific Orca

Wind turbine installation offshore Turbine Installation vessels (TIVs) like the Pacific Orca designed by KNUD E. HANSEN, embody the latest developments and technologies in turbine installation. The vessels have traditional vessel hulls, looking and operating like vessels. They have a large deck area that is used to transport components and used as work space while the vessel carries out the installation.

The vessels have jack-up and DP capabilities, fixed cranes and sometimes a helipad. Self-propelled, they can attain speeds of up to 13 knots, reducing transfer times considerably. In addition, once the vessel is jacked up, it is able to carry out operations in harsher weather conditions. Overall these vessels reduce installation times, create larger weather windows for operations, and reduce transport times.

Jackup legs

Jackup legs on jackup vessels or barges are subject to extreme forces in volatile conditions, especially during the jacking up and jacking down process. A stuck or broken jackup leg can destabilize the entire vessel. As a result, proper design and manufacturing of the jackup legs is vital. Jackup legs can be differentiated based on a number of characteristics, notably by the number of legs, type of legs, method of seafloor stabilization and type of elevating device.

Number of legs

Depending on its size, a jackup typically has four or six legs. A four legged jackup is the most common, but the newer turbine installation vessels (TIVs) are equipped with six legs. According to KNUD E. HANSEN, designer of the new Pacific Osprey and Pacific Orca, more legs increase the cost of the vessel, but provide substantially more stability and allow the vessel to continue operations in harsher weather. As wind farms move further away from shore, TIVs need to be able to work in harsher weather or face a reduced operational window.

 

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