International classification society Bureau Veritas has published guidance for designers and builders of Wind Farm Service Ships.
Maxime Pachot, offshore service vessel manager at Bureau Veritas, says, “Although some of the existing Offshore Service Vessel fleet can perform the tasks necessary for developing and maintaining offshore wind farms, we see an increasing need for specialist craft. These will include specialised vessels for servicing offshore wind farms. These will have particular characteristics and to be efficient they will have to be new designs. That means they need new class rules and guidance for designers and yards.”
BV NI 589 Wind Farms Service Ships is a service notation which covers ships specifically designed to operate in offshore wind farms for transfer of personnel from shore, mother ships or accommodation units to offshore wind farms and perform lifting operations required for wind turbine servicing. The note does not cover vessels built for installation and assembling of wind turbines or heavy maintenance and repair for which transportation of wind turbine main parts is needed. Bureau Veritas has already published specific guidance for these vessels.
Bureau Veritas’ new guidance notation for Wind Farms Service Ships is aimed at maximising the efficiency of new offshore wind farm service vessels. “These vessels have to move people quickly in rough offshore sea conditions, transferring maintenance personnel from shore or mother ships onto turbines,” explains Pachot. “That is why we have come up with a specific notation.”
Bureau Veritas’ note and guidance will help designers and yards use BV rules for steel ships and rules for High Speed Craft, combined with the rules for vessels under 500 gt, to develop new designs which will be light, fast, safe, and have good sea keeping abilities, while able to work close to turbines, yet will also be cost-effective.
Pachot says, “Typically they will have seating for up to 60 persons, a deck area for cargo, some form of device for connection and access to the turbine tower, lifting devices, a motion damping system, Dynamic Positioning system (DP) and a high service speed.”