Designed by CNIM, Windkeeper® is a new concept in maintenance vessels for offshore wind farms. Its operational capabilities, even during bad weather, along with its extended time at sea and accommodation capacity, means it will be able to intervene day or night on wind farms with up to 100 turbines.
wind farms one Windkeeper can operate for.
Windkeeper® can be deployed in seas with three-meter waves
Available 24/7 for maintenance operations
Currently under development, Windkeeper® will act as a support and maintenance vessel for offshore wind farms. The project is backed by France’s environment and energy efficiency agency, ADEME, via the Vehicles and Transport of the Future section of its Investments for the Future program.
Led by CNIM and its partners (Compagnie Maritime Chambon and Socarenam), along with two teaching institutions (ENSTA Bretagne and Supméca Toulon) the project aims to deliver a new concept in specialized, economical and safe boats for maintenance roles. Due to be completed by 2018, the aim is to double the time available for maintenance operations on wind farms over the course of a year, compared to current solutions, while also significantly increasing the amount of electricity product by the turbines.
With its SWATH hull providing a very high degree of stability, the Windkeeper® will be able to handle rough seas with waves of up to three meters – enabling it to operate 300 days a year, about twice the availability of smaller craft currently used to maintain offshore wind farms.
Offshore wind farms are now being built further away from coastlines, and have to cope with rough seas and strong currents.
The vessel will also be equipped with a personnel boarding system that will compensate for the swell and the boat’s own movements, enabling maintenance staff to transfer safely to and from the turbines. As a result, the Windkeeper® will allow operators to optimize their energy production, thanks to the craft’s extended availability at sea and its specially-designed, cost-effective equipment. It will also allow them to optimize maintenance operations and energy consumption, by reducing the number of trips from one wind farm to another and by using a hybrid form of propulsion.
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