Boarding Control System - for Improved Accessibility to Offshore Wind Turbines
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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This paper considers the dynamic modelling and motion control of a Surface Effect Ship (SES) for safer transfer of personnel and equipment from vessel to-and-from an offshore wind-turbine. Such a vessel is a key enabling factor for operation and maintenance (O&M) of offshore wind-energy infrastructure. The control system designed is referred to as Boarding Control System (BCS). We investigate the performance of this system for a specific wind-farm service vessel-The Wave Craft. A two-modality vessel model is presented to account for the vessel free motion and motion whilst in contact with a wind-turbine. On a SES, the pressurized air cushion carries the majority of the vessel mass. The control problem considered relates to the actuation of the pressure such that wave-induced vessel motions are minimized. This leads to a safer personnel transfer in developed sea-states than what is possible today. Results for the BCS is presented through simulation and model-scale craft testing.