Technical Anchoring for Offshore Wind USVs
Maxwell Marine has been contracted to design and supply a technical anchoring system for the first USVs that will be used for offshore metocean measurement campaigns in the wind farm industry. Ten of the vessels will be built by the Tuco Marine Group in Denmark for the offshore wind farm developer Ørsted.
Maxwell’s prototype has now successfully completed its trials in Norwegian and Danish waters, working at times in hurricane force winds and testing the anchor system to the limit. The first finalized build will launch by the end of 2023.
The Maxwell anchoring system needs to have fully autonomous operation (windlass and roller stopper) and the ability to retrieve very long lengths of chain. This requires the system to be capable of dealing with exceptionally high forces in extreme weather conditions. With the USVs spending at least half a year at sea, with no human intervention, low maintenance is essential.
USVs are an important step in the efficient, economic and sustainable development of wind farm operations. They will bring measurement equipment to and from offshore sites without the need for large, specialized support vessels, substantially cutting fuel emissions. While on site, they will operate autonomously for extended periods of time, measuring large amounts of data that can be sent onshore and processed in real time, essential for Ørsted’s early-phase development activities prior to the construction of new wind farms.