RED Engineering has developed new monitoring technology to improve accuracy, speed and safety during the installation of jacket foundations for wind turbines at the Beatrice Offshore Wind Farm project in the Moray Firth, Scotland.
The development by the North East-based firm of engineers features remote proximity sensors to confirm the correct engagement of an internal lifting tool (ILT) in use by Seaway Heavy Lifting, a Subsea 7 company.
These are connected to a remote monitoring system providing improved control of the lifting tool and confirming correct engagement. In addition to improved accuracy during lifting, the RED Engineering system delivers offshore time saving advantages for SHL, allowing riggerless operations to be undertaken.
Tim Newsome, mechanical engineer at RED Engineering, explained that prior to using the new technology, SHL would deploy a man-basket suspended from a second crane to check the engagement of the internal lifting clamp – a procedure with inherent risk precluded by wet or windy weather conditions.
“This latest project is typical of the value added by our innovative application of existing technology, reducing risks and saving our client’s time and money.
“We’re delighted that SHL has placed its faith in our expertise and experienced engineers, and look forward to further applications of this beneficial technology in offshore operations.”
Edgar Steinebach, innovation specialist, said: “This is a step forward for this type of lifting operation and allows us to offer a better service to our clients in the offshore wind sector.”
The tool features sensors as part of a remote monitoring unit mounted onto the ILT. Signals received at a base station located adjacent to the ILT operator indicate that the sensors are in or out of position. In the future, the tool could be adapted and upgraded to report if there are any obstructions between the remote and base units.
The system works in combination with CCTV for improved monitoring and visibility, increasing all round safety and ensuring that operations remain less weather dependent.