In the evolving landscape of clean energy, floating offshore wind farms stand as a beacon of potential, capable of harnessing wind power from deeper waters unbounded by seabed constraints. However, this promise brings unique challenges, particularly in the installation of dynamic cables that must endure the constant motion of turbines and waves.

Overcoming the floating wind challenges

Royal IHC is at the forefront of addressing these challenges, working on transforming traditional cable lay vessels into sophisticated, versatile platforms equipped with next-generation tensioners and advanced cable handling systems. These innovations ensure the integrity and efficiency of cable installations, crucial for the success of floating wind farms.

In our previous innovation blog, we discussed the challenges of and opportunities for dynamic cable laying. As we work on introducing a pioneering dynamic cable lay vessel design tailored specifically for the demands of floating offshore wind farms, this blog will delve into some of the concrete design elements of these groundbreaking vessels.

On the road to develop a game changing CLV design 

Current Cable Lay Vessels (CLVs), while advanced, struggle with the complexities of dynamic cable installation in deep waters. Drawing from our extensive experience in laying flexible pipes, we aim to adapt these techniques for the nuanced needs of floating wind farms. This includes developing integrated handling systems that adjust to changing cable geometries and multifunctional vessels that can perform a variety of tasks beyond cable installation. Through this new vessel design, we are poised to revolutionise the installation and maintenance of inter-array power cables for floating wind, enhancing the efficiency and reliability of offshore wind project construction and development.

Engineered for efficiency and reliability

Our new design addresses the unique challenges posed by floating offshore wind turbines, which operate in deeper waters where traditional bottom-fixed turbines are not feasible. The vessel is equipped with advanced technology to handle dynamic power cables that move with the oscillations of floating platforms. Key features include below-deck carousels for cable storage, expansive deck space for auxiliary subsea equipment, and sophisticated systems for attaching bend stiffeners, buoyancy modules, and other critical accessories for various cable lay configurations.

Flexible and robust dynamic cable lay operations

The design takes into consideration and builds upon various lay methods. Each method has been meticulously designed to minimise stress on the cables and accessories during installation, ensuring durability and longevity while supporting various dynamic power cable configurations like free hanging catenary, lazy wave, suspended etc. 

The vessel's layout facilitates efficient operations, with features like cable highway, containerised racks with dedicated skidding systems for cable accessories, and various innovative material handling appliances for seamless build up and deployment.

A leap forward in offshore wind installation

By optimising the vessel for dynamic cable operations, Royal IHC aims to significantly reduce the time and cost associated with installing and maintaining floating wind farms. The design promises to enhance operational efficiency, reduce downtime, and improve the overall reliability of offshore wind installations.

Our dynamic cable lay vessel design represents a major advancement in the offshore wind industry. With its innovative features and robust capabilities, the future CLV is set to become an indispensable asset for the next generation of floating offshore wind projects, supporting the global transition to sustainable energy.

The future of floating wind energy relies on collaboration and continuous innovation. By sharing knowledge across the industry, we can design technologically advanced, cost-effective CLVs that unlock the full potential of offshore wind power. So, get ready to be part of our exciting journey from concept to realisation and stay tuned for more updates in the coming months! 

Visual of (dynamic) cable lay vessels

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