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Innovative engineering meets hotel-style accommodation in award-winning SOV

Thu 21 Feb 2019 by David Foxwell

Innovative engineering meets hotel-style accommodation in award-winning SOV
Wind of Change combines fuel efficiency and reduced emissions with workability and hotel-like accommodation

Due to be delivered in Q2 2019, the design of Louis Dreyfus Armateurs’ newbuild service operation vessel has fuel efficiency at its heart, along with workability and comfort for those on board

Aptly named in a number of respects, Wind of Change, the new service operation vessel that Louis Dreyfus Armateurs (LDA) is shortly to take delivery of sets a new standard for fuel efficiency on a service operation vessel (SOV) by combining marine engineering firsts with a particularly high standard of accommodation and a high level of workability.

The winner of the Offshore Renewables Award at the 2019 Annual Offshore Support Journal Awards, which took place in London in February, Wind of Change was designed by Salt Ship Design in Norway and is being built at Cemre Shipyard in Turkey.

Accepting the award at the conference, LDA head of newbuildings Hervé Lapierre, who also provided a presentation at the 2019 Offshore Wind Journal conference, said teamwork between the designer, shipyard and client was the key to developing a successful design.

To be fitted with a 19-m motion-compensated gangway from Uptime in Norway and the first example of a TTS Colibri motion-compensated crane from TTS Group and Ulstein in Norway, Wind of Change has a unique power plant based on using conventional diesel engines (L21/31 variable-speed gensets from MAN employing the EPROX energy saving electric propulsion system), with the addition of ABB’s OnBoard DC grid and an innovative power and energy management system.

As Mr Lapierre explained at the Offshore Wind Journal conference, in another first, the Onboard DC grid will also integrate two sets of batteries that will be used primarily as a ‘spinning reserve’ and for peak shaving, reducing the demands on the engines.

Battery power will also provide backup for the generators on the vessel, reducing the need to run spare generator capacity. This level of efficiency will, said Mr Lapierre, reduce wear and tear on the ship’s engines and significantly increase fuel efficiency at reduced loads. In a conventional AC power system, the ship’s generators would be required to run at fixed speed regardless of the power demand on board.

However, as Mr Lapierre also explained, not only will the batteries on the new vessel have environmental benefits, they will also reduce vibration when operating in hybrid mode. “We have made every effort to save energy,” Mr Lapierre said. Ensuring that windfarm technicians are comfortable on board the vessel was a priority for LDA, he explained.

As he further explained, the common spaces on Wind of Change have been designed to be as bright and comfortable as possible, so the lounges have full-height windows and the messroom is fitted with windows on either side. “The idea is to get a lot of light inside the common spaces,” said Mr Lapierre, adding that LDA wants service personnel to ‘forget they are on a ship.’

“We wanted to give them as much comfort as possible aboard the ship – it’s like a 4 or 5-star hotel,” Mr Lapierre claimed.

Delivery of the vessel is expected by the end of April 2019, Mr Lapierre said and, when delivered, Wind of Change will enter a charter with offshore wind developer Ørsted on the Borkum Riffgrund 1 and 2 and Gode Wind 1 and 2 offshore windfarms off the coast of Germany. A sister vessel, Wind of Hope, has been also been ordered and will service Ørsted’s Hornsea Two windfarm offshore the UK. Like Wind of Change, the second ship is designed by Salt Ship Design and will also have the innovative hybrid propulsion system and energy storage system in the form of batteries. Unlike Wind of Change, Wind of Hope will have a new walk-to-work gangway – the TTS Horizon – but will also have the TTS Colibri crane.

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