A Breakthrough in Installing the Heaviest Wind Turbine Components at Sea
Easy, fast and safe installation of the heaviest wind turbine components at sea. The Heave Chief 1100 from the Dutch company Seaqualize is a breakthrough in this respect. With this compact lifting tool, objects weighing up to 1100 tonnes can be lifted from aboard a vessel and installed. The HC1100 will shortly be on its way to the USA.
Iv-Consult in Papendrecht was commissioned to design all the mechanical components of this innovative steel lifting tool, which will enable companies to continue installing wind farms for most of the year.
This so-called heave compensator is capable of installing heavy components for offshore wind farms more easily, quickly and safely at sea. The tool hangs in the hook of an existing offshore crane and compensates for the motions of the supply vessel transporting the vulnerable wind turbine components. It’s explained further in this video.
Suitable for the largest components
The HC1100 can hold a suspended load of 1100 tonnes (equivalent to twenty HGVs) still against the vessel's motions, thus enabling the largest wind farm components to be lifted and installed from a vessel. The heave compensator, which has been extensively tested, compensates for the vessel's motions at sea due to swell, making installation safer, faster, and more straightforward. In addition to the operation requiring relatively little force, the process is controlled, without the occurrence of large shock loads or unintentional lifts causing the load to land on the vessel multiple times.
Thousands of wind turbines (or other energy hubs) will be installed at sea in the coming decades. Where typically only within a limited part of the year - the summer months - can be built offshore at a rapid pace, Seaqualize estimates that work can continue on average eighty percent of the time since this tool can also be used in less favorable weather conditions, such as in strong winds and high seas. The acceleration of the energy transition is thus realized in a literal sense. Furthermore, the HC1100 is entirely wireless, and the battery only requires a recharge after completing 15 lifts, saving time.
Compact model, technically complex
Iv-Consult is proud of its contribution to the HC1100 in terms of the steel and mechanical components of the device. Due to the compact design of the HC1100, the technical calculation and drawing work was a complex factor and made the challenge even greater to capture all the preferences and requirements on paper in a way that would work in practice. We succeeded. The first assignment for this compact heave compensator will take place this year at a wind farm off the coast of Massachusetts, USA.