Revolutionizing Offshore Wind Support: Damen and SCHOTTEL Power Windcat’s Hydrogen-Powered Elevation Series CSOVs
Dutch Damen Group has partnered with SCHOTTEL to provide propulsion systems for Windcat Offshore’s groundbreaking Elevation Series Commissioning Service Operation Vessels (CSOVs). These vessels, the first three of which will be powered by SCHOTTEL’s propulsion packages, represent a significant advancement in offshore wind energy support. The collaborative effort between Damen, Windcat, Compagnie Maritime Belge (CMB), and other stakeholders has produced highly efficient, powerful, and comfortable vessels tailored to the evolving needs of the offshore wind industry.
With dimensions of 87 meters by 20 meters, these CSOVs offer spacious and comfortable accommodations for up to 120 passengers, along with ample storage, deck space, recreational areas, and a medical facility. What sets these vessels apart is their innovative use of hydrogen as a fuel source and a dynamic positioning (DP-2) control system. Propulsion will be delivered by four SCHOTTEL Dynamic RudderPropellers (SRP 430 D), each with an input power of 1,780 kW and a 2,500-millimeter propeller diameter. These thrusters will be strategically arranged in Damen’s DPX-Drive configuration to optimize performance.
As offshore wind farms expand into more distant waters, these CSOVs will become vital assets for servicing wind parks in Europe and beyond. The contract for the initial three vessels also includes an option for an additional three, highlighting the growing demand for such specialized vessels in the offshore wind industry.
Willem van der Wel, Managing Director of Windcat, emphasized the Elevation Series’ commitment to exploring hydrogen as a sustainable fuel while delivering top-tier performance and comfort for both crew and passengers. The SRP-D thrusters are perfectly aligned with these objectives, not only enhancing fuel efficiency but also extending the vessels’ operational capabilities by up to five additional days per year.
One of the key advantages of the SRP-D is its remarkable ability to perform in harsh weather conditions, as demonstrated by previous investigations conducted by classification society DNV and the Institute for maritime research, MARIN. Independent research has further confirmed the substantial improvements brought by the SRP-D in various operational scenarios.
The SRP-D thruster has been specifically engineered to meet the challenging demands of offshore applications, minimizing the dynamic positioning footprint, improving positioning accuracy, and saving fuel. Since its launch, it has garnered high demand for new CSOV builds. SCHOTTEL is currently in the process of supplying the SRP-D for seven vessels, with options to equip seven more with this cutting-edge thruster. The construction of the Elevation Series vessels is taking place at Damen’s Ha Long Shipyard in Vietnam, with the first CSOV scheduled for launch in 2025. This vessel will play a pivotal role in supporting wind turbine technicians as they carry out commissioning and maintenance work on offshore wind turbines.
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