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Walk to Work solutions take flight for the offshore wind market

The offshore wind market is set to grow six-fold by 2030. A recent report states that the UK, Germany, The Netherlands, and China will drive forward the development of new fields over the next decade, while Taiwan and the US will become more prominent gigawatt markets.

The latest wind farm to be developed in Europe is now under construction off Aberdeen’s coastline. The European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC) is Scotland’s largest offshore wind test and demonstration facility and is being developed by Vattenfall-owned Aberdeen Offshore Wind Farm Limited. It will comprise of eleven turbines and is expected to be operational in summer 2018.

Such innovative developments, as well as the upkeep and maintenance of existing offshore wind farms, require the safe transfer of personnel and cargo between turbines or offshore substations and vessels.

Ampelmann has been a pioneer of Walk to Work (W2W) gangway systems for more than a decade. The company is enhancing its motion-compensated gangway systems to create even greater operational efficiencies for offshore wind projects.

Innovation in action

Using technology inspired by the flight simulator industry, The Netherlands headquartered company boasts a wide range of gangway systems to compensate all six degrees of freedom of a vessel. This enables the transfer of people and essential cargo to be safer and more efficient than alternative offshore access methods such as swing ropes, baskets, helicopters and crew transfer vessels (CTVs).

The company currently operates a fleet of 55 systems in Europe, Africa, Asia Pacific, the Americas and the Middle East. It has so far carried out more than four million safe people transfers and over seven million kilograms of cargo transfers across 200 energy projects worldwide.

In conjunction with leading operators, the company redesigned its A400 gangway system last year to include greater capacity for equipment transportation between vessels and wind turbines. At 1.2 metres in width, the new ‘no movement’ A400 has full motion compensation and can operate in sea states of up to three metres. The widened gangway also supports the use of trolleys that can carry up to 400kg of cargo on Euro-sized industry standard pallets.

A single operator is required to use the gangway system and all cargo and personnel can be transferred using an elevator to support ‘stepless’ policies and increase efficiency in the logistical flow from warehouse to turbine.

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