The Wind Turbine Shuttle : A One of its Kind SWATH Vessel

The Wind Turbine Shuttle is a SWATH (Small Water Plane Area Twin Hull) ship. The uniqueness of the ship is that it can transport and set up a pair of wind turbines simultaneously in the high seas.

The Wind Turbine Shuttle (WTS) has been designed and built by the Dutch shipping corporation Huisman Equipment BV. Because of the brilliant way the ship has been conceptualised and created to set up turbines, the Wind Turbine Shuttle has been nominated for the Next Generation Ship awards in the Nor-Shipping Awards for this year. The award ceremony will be held in Norway on the 24th May.

The process through which WTS enables the turbines to be set in the water can be explained in detail as follows:

  • Firstly, the SWATH shuttle carries the turbines in such a way that at no point of time, the shuttle needs to be removed out of the water
  • There are clinches (clamps) provided to make sure that the turbines are not jostled because of the water movement. This clinch that is easily controllable helps to fix the turbines above the base where they are required to be set up
  • The shuttle is powered by propellers, which are variable in nature. These propellers allow the WTS to go at a very fast pace of 14 knots. The fast speed of the WTS allows the SWATH vessel to reach a distance of about 150 miles in the water in just over 10 hours. Then with the help of the dynamic positioning system, the turbines are placed in the water
  • There are pontoons located under the shuttle. These pontoons are adjusted when the shuttle embarks the start of its motion on the water
  • In order to ensure a complete success of the turbine establishment in the water, the shuttle requires having a low-geared drift in the water
  • The shuttle can establish the turbines in the water for about 80% in a year. The location of the sea where the turbines are required to be established is the North Sea
  • The permitted height of the waves that can allow the shuttle to set up the turbines is 3.5 metres

The maximum wind turbine carrying capacity of the shuttle is 5 mega watts (MW). In addition to two new wind turbines, if need arises the shuttle can also carry turbines that have to be repaired and substituted with newer turbines. The advantage of such a process is that the WTS only needs to fix the turbines in the water. The required maintenance and repairing to the damaged turbines are carried out on certain ports where the maintenance work can be done. Some of the ports where the repairing is carried out are East of England, Scotland and Denmark.

The Wind Turbine Shuttle is definitely a vessel to watch out for. The vessel has the ability to become a revolutionary ship in the oceanic areas in its own singular way.

You may also like to read-Wind Lens: A Highly Efficient Wind Farm & Wind Express Ships: A Green Initiative

References: huismanequipment, offshorewind

Image Credits: offshorewind

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