Offshore wind on-turbine electrical vessel charging system

Lead Participant: Mjr Controls Limited

Abstract

This project will factory test a prototype electric charging point for an offshore wind turbine, with subsequent installation, testing and demonstration of its use in real-world field trials charging a battery on a crew transfer vessel (CTV).

Offshore wind's ability to provide clean, green power will provide the cornerstone of the UK's 'net-zero' target. Despite emissions from wind power being far lower than Fossil Fuels there is a drive within the industry to make this a truly zero-emissions source of electricity. CTVs are the most common vessel used in the operations and maintenance of Offshore Wind Farms and they typically burn Marine Gasoil(MGO), a fuel similar to diesel with its associated high emissions. Battery electric CTVs (eCTVs) have the potential to replace MGO for zero-emission operations but as with the early days of electric cars, battery energy density mean that they have a limited range. At present, charging infrastructure is only available in port which means that only a small portion of turbines are practically accessible by eCTVs. Placing a charging point in 'the field' will mean that eCTVs will be able to operate with zero-emission on turbines considerably further from shore.

This project will design, build, and test an electric charge point situated on a wind turbine. This approach will access the infrastructure already in place (turbine platform, electrical cables) to provide renewable electricity to vessels. As an eCTV 'docks' with the turbine a cable reel will lower down an electrical charge connection which will plug in to the vessel and charge a battery on-board. Although the technology necessary for this is relatively mature this has yet to be done before and so this project will need to develop standards, working practices and procedures in order to safely carry this out at sea.

This project is led by the highly skilled marine electrical engineers of UK based MJR Power and automation who will develop a high value product that can be installed across the ever-growing number of wind farms both in UK waters and across the world. Vessel operator tidal transit, vessel designer Artemis technologies, wind farm operator Xceco, and the offshore renewables experts at OREcatapult will be partners on this project, providing the skills, expertise, and vessels necessary to carry out the trials. All partners are committed to decarbonisation and this project will place them at the forefront of innovation in this field.

Lead Participant

Project Cost

Grant Offer

Mjr Controls Limited, Stockton On Tees £2,268,213 £ 1,587,749
 

Participant

Xceco Limited, Grimsby £147,256 £ 103,079
Tidal Transit Limited, Walsingham £93,876 £ 65,713
Artemis Technologies Ltd, Pembroke Dock £265,768 £ 186,038
Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult £64,212 £ 64,212

Publications

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