AN ENTRY from north-east diving-equipment technology firm Divex is among 13 from around the world to be shortlisted in a competition to solve a problem for offshore windfarm developers.
The Carbon Trust – set up in 2001 to accelerate the move to a low-carbon economy – sought ideas on how to transfer engineers and equipment safely to wind turbines which could be hundreds of miles from land and in stormy seas.
It is estimated that solving the problem could boost revenue from the next generation of offshore windfarms by up to £3billion.
The Carbon Trust hopes to improve the economics of offshore wind by keeping turbines working in even the harshest sea conditions. It is spearheading an industry collaboration of eight offshore windfarm developers to reduce dramatically the costs of offshore wind.
Divex and 12 others on the shortlist were chosen from among 450 entrants which came up with ideas on how to get both people and equipment to and from the turbines.
The Carbon Trust said: “The aim of the competition is to find concepts that can be commercialised to make transfers possible for a minimum of 300 days a year.”
Westhill-based Divex has designed a ship-based launch-and-recovery system which uses a semisubmersible cradle to launch or retrieve a smaller boat.
Divex joint managing director Derek Clarke said: “We are fortunate to be at the forefront of an exciting era in offshore wind and with the support of the Carbon Trust through this competition we hope to remain there.
“The launch and recovery system for daughter craft we have designed should significantly reduce the complexity and risk currently associated with such a manoeuvre to the benefit of all concerned.”