Maxwell Marine has signed a contract to design and supply a technical anchoring system for the first USVs for offshore met-ocean measurement campaigns in the wind farm industry.
Maxwell has been working with Ørsted for some time to provide a design suitable for the exceptionally demanding role of the USVs which will be in constant use throughout the year in all conditions.
Ten of the uncrewed surface vessels (USVs) will be built by the Tuco Marine Group in Denmark for the offshore wind farm developer.
The prototype has now successfully completed its trials in Norwegian and Danish waters, working at times in hurricane force winds and testing the anchor system to the limit. The first finalised build will now be launched by the end of 2023.
The Maxwell anchoring system, which will be fitted to all vessels, had to meet the strict requirements of these highly technical USVs.
The system needed to have fully autonomous operation (windlass and roller stopper) and the ability to retrieve very long lengths of chain. This required the system to be capable of dealing with exceptionally high forces in extreme weather conditions. With the USVs spending at least half a year at sea, with no human intervention, low maintenance was also essential.
The USV is an important step in the efficient, economic, and sustainable development of wind farm operations. They will bring measurement equipment to and from offshore sites without the need for large, specialised support vessels, substantially cutting fuel emissions that would otherwise be created.
While on site, the vessels will operate autonomously for extended periods of time, measuring large amounts of data that can be sent onshore and processed in real time, essential for Ørsted’s early-phase development activities prior to the construction of new wind farms.
Thierry Vermeer, Sales Manager of Maxwell Marine, commented; “We were keen to be involved in the development stage of the prototype of the Ørsted USV, as it was clear the vessels will help lower emissions and the uncertainties in the expected annual energy production for new offshore wind farms. Maxwell has always shown great initiatives in the field of sustainability and the project was a strong example of how the company’s team of exceptional engineers could provide the best solution for every anchoring challenge presented to us.
“The project also displayed how good cooperation between a number of partners can produce a result such as the Ørsted USV which will provide a substantial contribution to our sustainable future”.