Feasibility study into a novel vessel design for accessing offshore wind turbines

Rights statement
Awarding institution
  • University of Strathclyde
Date of award
  • 2014
Thesis identifier
  • T13821
Qualification Level
Qualification Name
Department, School or Faculty
  • This thesis reports an investigation into the feasibility of a novel vessel concept, designed to allow safe access for personnel to and from offshore wind turbines in sea states in which the facility would be currently inaccessible. The problem of accessing offshore wind turbines is an issue that has been identified as a major cause of turbine downtime. Access is required to carry out maintenance and repairs but is often delayed by days or even weeks due to the weather conditions and the limitations of the current access procedures. Blessing's Design Research Methodology was adopted to give the research structure. A literature review was conducted to identify the cause of the problem and establish the working window for which the vessel must be designed (the specification) and a review was completed to identify existing technology that could be utilised in the development phase.The concept design was then developed using Pugh's Total Design Methodology and a number of alternatives were developed and reviewed before a single concept was selected. The selected concept is a catamaran vessel with the capability to take on significant ballast water whilst jacking the deck away from the hulls, creating two distinct vessel configurations: the transit mode where it operates as a standard, fast catamaran for getting to and from sites and the transfer mode where it has a higher displacement and a reduced waterplane area, reducing deck movement in rough seas.The developed design was analysed to identify the stability and sea-keeping characteristics of the design both computationally and physically in a hydrodynamic laboratory. The analysis identified significant reductions in vessel movement in heave, pitch and roll in the transfer mode when compared to the transit mode. This will allow safer personnel transfer in higher seas than the current crew transfer catamarans. The research concluded that the concept is feasible and outlines the further work required to commercialise the design.
Resource Type
  • This thesis was previously held under moratorium from 5th November 2014 until 5th November 2016.
Date Created
  • 2014
Former identifier
  • 9910393503402996