Vattenfall has announced plans to kit out every turbine at its Aberdeen Offshore Wind Farm with the “world’s first” in-tower toilet.
The patented cubicle, which has been hailed as a “gamechanger”, has been developed and manufactured by Pegasus Welfare Solutions (PWS).
The unit’s design was finalised at the end of last year in collaboration with the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult.
A further trial is planned at the research and innovation centre’s 7 megawatt (7 MW) Levenmouth Demonstration Turbine in Fife.
The in-tower unit, which can be carried and installed by two technicians within an hour, is a permanent offshore version of PWS’ patented multi-unit toilets used in the construction stages of offshore wind.
Aberdeen Offshore Wind Farm, also known as European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC), was officially opened in September 2018 and is expected to operate for around 25 years.
Mike Herdman, O&M project manager at the development, said: “This is a gamechanger for the industry. PWS came up with a solution and, as our wind farm is a test and demonstration centre of innovation, we are proud to take the lead and be the first to install them on all our Aberdeen turbines to be an exemplar in a global industry.
“Leading through innovation is key, yet innovation doesn’t have to be complicated. This is an issue that needed addressing and we are collaborating to make it happen.
“The fact that it increases safety and productivity are all important added value to the user and industry.”
Hugh Riddell, ORE Catapult regional partnership manager, said: “The PWS solution impressed us for its ingenuity, practicality and scope for significantly raising welfare standards and reducing costs of offshore working. This is exactly the type of innovative thinking that we want to promote through our technology innovation programmes and collaborations with commercial leaders like Vattenfall.
“Accessing real-world opportunities to test, demonstrate and validate new solutions is a real barrier for small innovators. This opportunity, alongside planned trials at our Levenmouth Demonstration Turbine, is a breakthrough to a fast-growing global market where the PWS technology will be very much in demand.”
Mr Greeves said his solution to the long industry “elephant in the room” issue should be the start of basic hygiene offshore being industry standard.
“No one would accept going to a building site where houses were being built and find no welfare facilities on site, so why should a there be none on a working site offshore?
“Hygiene and welfare are not optional extras. Our mission is for our unit to be part of all Risk Assessment Method Statements and installed.”