Trial – Ormonde

Windfarm Operational Trial – 26th November 2015

The trial took place on Thursday 26th November 2015, courtesy of Vattenfall at the Ormonde Windfarm in Barrow-in-Furness with four client representatives on board.

Once clear from the channel the vessel increased its speed and travelled at approximately 35kts in 1.8m seas.  To the surprise of the clients on board they found the passenger space seating arrangements very comfortable.  Even at these speeds the ride was smooth with only occasional light buffeting.  The vessel is designed to cut through waves and maintain high speeds in deteriorating seas.  Passenger comfort and safety is a high priority thus the seating is relatively low to the water-line and the reverse seating provides maximum support to the head, neck and back.

On arrival at the wind farm the skipper rotated the helm seat 180° so that the vessel could be docked onto a turbine.  Tenacity is a double ended vessel, the bow forward is used to travel distances at speed, whilst the stern forward, is used for manoeuvring and precision work.  Passengers transfer to and from structures from the stern of the vessel, the unique combination of hull design and on board technology maintains stability and reduces roll even in the roughest of sea states.  Deck heave is also dramatically reduced.

The vessel was moved into a transfer station on the nearest turbine.  This was done quickly, successfully and without incident.  It was commented on positively by the client representatives that the skipper made docking a new vessel for the first time onto a turbine, look easy. The stability of the vessel against the turbine was also noted by the client group as was the stability of the vessel whilst loitering and both were commented upon very positively.  In comparison Tenacity demonstrated unparalleled stability and transfer capability; had the technicians been on board Tenacity, the client representatives confirmed that transfer to the turbines would have taken place with ease.

Tenacity was then moved away from the turbine and closer to the other windfarm vessel in order to carry out the transfer of equipment from Tenacity onto the other vessel.  Whilst passing the equipment across from Tenacity to the other vessel, the client representatives and the skipper from the other vessel commented on the remarkable stability of the Wave Access vessel when compared to the catamaran.

Once this task was completed the Wave Access vessel left the windfarm and returned to the Port of Barrow at circa 35 Kts.  Throughout the day the engines ran for almost exactly 12 hours, the vessel travelled over 100 Nm in 2m seas at speeds up to 35 Kts; the vessel used just under 900 L of fuel.

The client representatives made several suggestions about the configuration of the Wave Access vessel.  It is pointed out however that Tenacity is a proof of concept vessel and future vessels can be configured to meet specific customer requirements and preferences.