Conbit, the offshore structural engineering and lifting operation owned by Dutch heavy lift and transportation specialist Mammoet, was one of eight winners in the Floating Wind Technology Acceleration Competition, funded by the Scottish Government and run by the Carbon Trust’s Floating Wind Joint Industry Project (Floating Wind JIP) which comprises 14 leading offshore wind developers.
The competition was designed to accelerate the development and commercialisation of floating offshore wind technology with particular emphasis on moorings and operations and maintenance (O&M).
Conbit won the award with its modular lifting system that enables the safe and cost-effective exchange of large turbine components offshore when floating foundation structures are moving due to wave motion.
According to Conbit, exchanging heavy components offshore while the base is moving due to wind and waves is one of the most demanding challenges within offshore operations. It claims its modular lifting system enables the replacement of heavy components inside the nacelle and provides the accuracy required to ensure safe installation.
Funds have been released as part of the competition and these will be used to increase the development of the modular lift technology towards a fully operational system. Wind farm owners and developers as well as turbine OEMs will be consulted during the development programme, Conbit said, as the lifting system needs to be adjusted to their various turbine designs.
Bram van Oirschot, sales manager at Conbit, commented, “The market seems to be ready to adapt current practices for replacing heavy components inside wind turbines. The increasing heights and weights require a different O&M approach, which is less dependent on large crane vessels and jack-up barges. Conbit is devoted to investing in a maintenance system that supports the growing needs of offshore renewable energy and by allowing components to be exchanged, turbine manufacturers will be able to benefit from our technology.”