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New ‘cutting-edge’ tool could save offshore wind developers millions

A crew transfer vessel (Credit: Workboat Association)
A crew transfer vessel (Credit: Workboat Association)

It’s hoped a new “cutting-edge” tool to improve health and safety in offshore renewables could save the industry millions of pounds every year.

RWE Renewables has invested in the technology, developed by UK-based Cognitive.Business, which enables highly accurate, localised assessment of safe conditions for vessel to turbine transfers at offshore wind farms.

Ensuring operations and maintenance crew can safely climb aboard turbines to carry out work has been described as one of the “most hazardous aspects” of offshore procedures.

Developers claim the move will help to reduce losses estimated at being £25 million per year across the industry by removing the variances of human decision-making.

The solution combines complex met-ocean and vessel tracking data within an automated machine learning model, creating a predictive tool that can apparently be applied globally.

It’s claimed by enhancing the accessibility of offshore wind farms, the tool could save the industry £1M per gigawatt every year

The product has been further developed through the Wind Accessibility Verification for Enhanced Safety (WAVES) project funded by the Offshore Wind Growth Partnership (OWGP).

Ty Burridge-Oakland, managing director at Cognitive.Business, said: “The problem is seriously complex, but it is faced daily by operational staff under immense pressure to deliver.

“The invaluable support from OWGP and RWE has provided the time and operational insights required to produce a solution that is beyond expectation.”

James Vause, offshore production manager RWE Renewables, said: “Making safe crew transfers is vital to our operational business. The WAVES solution integrates powerful A.I. technology with our own operational data and has been shown to provide an improved transfer decision metric compared to the industry’s standard.

“We believe that WAVES will enable us to better predict acceptable transfer windows, improving the safety of our technicians, and enabling us to optimise our O&M activities.”

Andrew Macdonald, programme director, Offshore Wind Growth Partnership added: “It’s really encouraging to see an innovative UK SME like Cognitive.Business achieve such early success with their WAVES solution through their OWGP-funded project.

“It is a great example of the OWGP in action and a reflection of the industry’s commitments to developing and growing the UK’s innovative supply chain.”

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