Europe, Renewables, Wind

Ørsted and Pict Offshore develop game-changing hoist tech

Ørsted and Pict Offshore have collaborated to transform the way technicians access offshore wind turbines, with the use of an innovative technology set.

This comes after Ørsted acquired a 22.5 per cent share in the Scottish developer.

The two organisations partnered to develop the Get Up Safe (GUS) system, a motion compensated hoist solution that enables technicians to safely transfer between small moving vessels and offshore wind turbines.

Using this technology means that technicians will no longer have to step from a moving boat onto a ladder and then climb (sometimes over 20 metres) to reach the base of the turbine. Instead, they can clip onto the system and be safely and effortlessly hoisted up to the turbine base directly from the boat.

The system’s motion compensation capability means that the hoist automatically adjusts the line position to take account of the boats movements so that even in periods of high and varying wave heights, there is no danger of collision between the technician and the boat.

In addition, the technology removes the need for external access ladders on the turbines, reducing the amount of steel required in the structure and provides further potential for cost reduction.

Mark Porter, senior vice president for Offshore Operations at Ørsted, said: “The offshore wind sector already has a proven track record of innovation and rapid cost reduction, and we’re continually looking at new technologies to enhance both the construction and maintenance of our projects.  This game-changing new technology can provide a more efficient, safe and cost-effective way of transferring technicians onto offshore wind turbines.

“We’re excited to be working alongside an innovative small business in Pict Offshore to revolutionise the way our technicians get to work. As the global offshore wind industry continues to grow, the opportunities for this technology are huge.”

Philip Taylor, managing director at Pict Offshore, said: “We have hugely benefited from the experience and knowledge of Ørsted, the world’s largest offshore wind developer. Partnering with them has accelerated our ability to bring this new technology to market.

“The Get Up Safe motion compensated lifting system is an ambitious step forward for the whole offshore wind industry. It completely revolutionises the way technicians get to work, and we’re delighted to have reached the final stages of testing. We’ve also hugely enjoyed working alongside Ørsted and seeing first-hand the company’s passion for innovation.”

The technology is patent-protected and in the final stages of development. More than 1,600 successful hoists have already been conducted at Ørsted sites as part of the testing process.

The development of the product commenced in 2016 and was helped by a Scottish government innovation grant.

Although the system was initially developed to assist technicians transfer between boats and access ladders in increased wave heights, Ørsted has worked with Pict Offshore to further develop the product, ultimately removing the need for boat landing ladders altogether and allowing the vessel to push directly onto the turbine.