23 September 2019
Ørsted partners with Scottish innovator Pict Offshore to develop game-changing technology for offshore wind operations and maintenance
- New motion compensated hoist will provide offshore maintenance teams with ladder-free access to offshore wind turbines
- Technology removes the need for turbine boat landing and ladders all together
- Ørsted has acquired stake in Scotland-based Pict Offshore to mature the technology
- Innovative product set to improve safety and reduce costs across whole industry
Ørsted, the global leader in offshore wind, has acquired a 22.5% share in Pict Offshore, the Scottish developer of an innovative technology set to transform the way technician’s access offshore wind turbines.
Pict Offshore has been set up to commercialise the ‘Get Up Safe’ (GUS) system, a motion compensated personnel hoist that has resulted from a 2-year collaboration between Ørsted and Fife based height safety specialist Limpet Technology.
The product development project, which started at the end of 2016, was enabled through a Scottish Enterprise SMART innovation grant. Further collaboration between Limpet Technology engineers and the University of Strathclyde in 2017, allowed a unique vessel simulator to be built that was instrumental in testing of the GUS system.
The Company moved their test facility to a unit in the Fife Energy Park in late 2017, to be next door to the 7MW Levenmouth Demonstrator Turbine. Owned by the ORE Catapult, this is the world’s most advanced open access offshore wind turbine dedicated to research and product validation and was the perfect test site for accelerating the GUS systems development programme throughout 2018.
This complemented the real-world testing that commenced, on two of Ørsted’s UK wind farms in early 2018. Between April and December 2018, more than 1600 successful transfers were performed on Orsted sites.
Philip Taylor, Managing Director at Pict Offshore based in Scotland, said:
“We have hugely benefited from the local expertise that exists in Scotland for Offshore Wind and owe a great deal to Scottish Enterprise and the ORE Catapult. The experience and knowledge of Ørsted, the world’s largest offshore wind developer, has also been instrumental in bringing this new technology to market.
The GUS system has been designed to safely lift technicians between small vessels and offshore wind turbines and is intended for use by Ørsted on their next generation offshore wind farms. This will make access safer and easier than the current transfer method, where technicians step from the front of a vessel onto a ladder and then have to climb up to twenty metres to reach the wind turbine platform.
Additionally, use of this technology will allow the complete removal of access ladders and boat landing metalwork from the side of offshore turbines, saving huge quantities of steel and associated costs, which will in turn, increase the competitiveness of offshore wind energy.
Mark Porter, Senior Vice President for Offshore Operations at Ørsted, said:
“The offshore wind sector already has a proven track record of innovation and rapid cost reduction, and we’re continually looking at new technologies to enhance both the construction and maintenance of our projects. This game-changing new technology can provide a more efficient, safe and cost-effective way of transferring technicians onto offshore wind turbines.” He went on “We’re excited to be working alongside an innovative small business in Pict Offshore to revolutionise the way our technicians get to work. As the global offshore wind industry continues to grow, the opportunities for this technology are huge.”
Ørsted’s investment in the project, that will now be carried forward by Pict Offshore, allows the Company to scale up to meet expected demand for the GUS system. Assembly of the systems will take place at a new site in Inverkeithing, Fife and the Company expects to add between 15 and 20 high skilled jobs in the coming year and to start placing orders with the local supply chain that is already well set up to cater to offshore wind.
See HERE for Ørsted video introduction to the GUS system
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