International diving equipment technology company Divex are delighted to announce they have been selected by the Carbon Trust for support within the Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA) programme for their Launch and Recovery technology.
The Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA) is a project launched between the Carbon Trust and eight of the leading international offshore wind farm developers to help meet the European Union’s 15% renewable energy target for the UK. The aim of the OWA is to drive down the cost of offshore wind by focusing on four research areas: Foundations, Wake Effects, Electrical Systems and Access. The focus of the OWA has been to find solutions to Access to the wind turbines and with over 450 entries submitted, Divex have been selected as one of the thirteen successful applicants. As one of only two companies in Scotland to receive funding, Divex are the only company in Aberdeen to be successful.
Divex’s Launch and Recovery System (LARS) uses the established ramp recovery method for high sea state launch and recovery but applies this in a way that enables fitment to SWATH or catamaran mother vessels or possibly even mono hulls. The principle is an inclinable and semi-submersible Cradle that can be raised up to the vessel or be lowered into the sea to allow launch and recovery. The unique design of the mechanical connection to the vessel automatically alters the angle of the Cradle from horizontal (when stowed) to a suitable ramp angle when the Cradle/Boat is in the water. The Cradle is raised and lowered by a fast action constant tension winch that automatically synchronises the Cradle/Boat motion with the swell to avoid slap and snatch during launching and recovery. Another unique attribute is the provision of an automatic bow latch that holds the boat securely in the Cradle until the moment of launch and similarly captures the Boat during recovery.
Derek Clarke, Joint Managing Director, Divex Ltd, added: “We are fortunate to be at the forefront of an exciting era in offshore wind and with the support of the Carbon Trust through this competition, we hope to remain there. The Launch and Recovery System for daughter craft we have designed should significantly reduce the complexity and risk currently associated with such a manoeuvre to the benefit of all concerned.” Divex also submitted designs for their Crew Access Bridge technology (CRAB). CRAB is a motion compensated personnel access bridge to enable personnel to move directly in high sea states from a support vessel to the turbine Work Platform, typically at 20m above LAT (Lowest Astronomical Tide). CRAB combines established position sensing, accelerometer and hydraulic control technology with a novel telescopic bridge structure which uses counterbalance principles to create a light weight, low power and inherently safe design. With an expected landing load onto the Work Platform in the range of 150 to 300kg.
While they did not receive funding for this, Divex did received a letter of support from the Carbon Trust for this design: “We were also impressed with your CRAB design – in fact it was in the top 20 of the 450+ entries and we are convinced that you have the capabilities to translate it into a compelling product. However the OWA only has funding for 12 concepts, so will be unable to provide financial support for it. Nevertheless, given the quality of the idea, we would be willing to provide you with a letter of support if this would be useful for attracting investment for the development of the design.” This is a very significant diversification for Divex and is the culmination of extensive market research, inventive thinking and detailed proposal work over the past 12 months using the skills and abilities possessed with their dive system engineering knowledge base. Divex’s expansion into the renewable sector is progressing beyond the Launch and Recovery system and Crew Access Bridge and they are currently looking at novel foundations.