Dutch company EAGLE-ACCESS B.V. has completed the sea trials for their new access system. During a period of three weeks, the EAGLE-ACCESS system (EAGLE) was tested in the Danish wind farm Horns Rev 2. The access system is now ready for commercial operation.
Around 150 people were transferred safely and about 300 transfers were performed with and without cargo. The system in the stand alone version proved to be safe, comfortable and reliable during offshore testing, the company said.
The vessel used for the sea trials was the relatively small VOS Star, a DP2 vessel of 68 by 15 meters. After being brought to the quay in IJmuiden by road transport, the EAGLE was installed on the vessel deck in one day. Once installed on the deck, the EAGLE was immediately available and used for deck-to-quay handling of 1 ton loads.
Fully electric driven access system
With the EAGLE, people are transferred in a closed cabin from deck to platform and vice versa. The cabin, located on a landing station, is directly accessible, without the need to climb stairs with bags or tools to carry. The switch from people to cargo transfer is done in seconds.
The fully electric driven system offers precise motion control. Supported by cameras and object detection this makes a smooth transition and landing possible, even on a small landing area in different weather conditions. The extremely small transition piece (TP) landing surface in the Horns Rev offshore wind farm provided a good scene for proving this ability of the system. People being transferred felt safe at all times. They were surprised by the speed and comfort, the company stated.
No operators are required on the platform to guide and release the cargo. This results in a large deck space savings. The ability to transfer cargo without it swinging and also the remotely controlled disconnecting of the cargo onto the wind generator platform was demonstrated.
The EAGLE allows a unique wide range of 270 degrees of possible vessel headings. For testing reasons not only the most common and comfortable headings, but also the more unfavorable vessel headings were chosen. Optimal headings for the vessel are always possible due to the large reach and mounting on the aft of the vessel and 360 degrees rotation of the system.
The workability of the system proved fully in line with the prediction of EAGLE ACCESS’ digital models. The company will further update the digital models with the obtained test data. With a digital twin in their offices in IJmuiden, EAGLE ACCESS can guarantee the operability on a vessel and offer a realistic hands-on training to future EAGLE operators.