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Electrically powered service vessel charges itself with offshore wind turbines

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Electrically powered service vessel charges itself with offshore wind turbines

Offshore wind turbines and electrically powered ships are two promising concepts for the energy transition. A Dutch shipbuilding company now wants to combine these two concepts and has launched what it claims is the world‘s first electric Service Operations Vessel (SOV), which can recharge from offshore wind turbines. SOV is a name for a service ship for technicians from offshore wind farms. On-site charging is intended to make the maintenance of these systems significantly more efficient and sustainable.

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Largest fully electric service vessel for offshore maintenance

Damen Shipyards Group unveiled the “7017 Electric” SOV at the 2023 Offshore Energy Exhibition & Conference in Amsterdam, according to Electrek. It has a length of 70 meters and a width of 17 meters. According to the company, this makes it the largest all-electric offshore wind SOV for maintenance work. It has 60 crew cabins and 40 technicians, storage rooms and workshops.

The SOV 7017 has two lithium iron phosphate battery systems. One has an output of 15 MWh and is used for fully electric operation. The other system has a capacity of 10 MWh for 75% electric operation. In case the ship does not have access to electricity, it has diesel propulsion as an emergency backup. However, Damen’s plans to eliminate fossil fuels for SOV 7017 would be firm.

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Charge with a wind turbine within a few hours

For charging, it is possible to connect the service vessel directly to an offshore wind turbine. The entire system uses the already existing offshore infrastructure. This means that no redesigns or additions to the offshore wind farm components are required. Damen has partnered with British marine electrical engineering company MJR Power & Automation to develop a 4MW charging port and motion-compensated gangway system that connects the ship to the wind turbines.

Charging occurs while the vessel is in a low-power, “green” mode. The SOV7017 is said to be able to be charged in just a few hours using a single turbine. Paul Cairns, Managing Director at MJR, said: “Charging from an offshore facility represents the ultimate in practicality, offering the opportunity to reduce costs and emissions and optimize efficiency, without putting staff or infrastructure in a potentially dangerous situation bring to.”

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Damen, a global company with a presence in 120 countries, is ready to commercialize the system and is actively seeking collaboration with wind power developers and ship operators.

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