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German energy firm successfully tests UK offshore wind access system

OSBIT Power system successfully trialed at E.ON wind farm to improve safety during maintenance

The system improves safety during the transfer process of personnel from vessels to turbines

A German energy firm has successfully tested UK-developed wind technology that is set to improve safety during offshore maintenance procedures. E.ON has successfully trialed the novel access system, MaXccess, which UK company OSBIT Power has developed to improve the transfer process of personnel from vessels to wind turbines offshore.

The trials took place at the E.ON offshore wind farm Scroby Sands on the east coast of England.

E.ON said safely transferring personnel from a vessel onto a turbine is a well known concern and challenge in offshore wind. The system aims to resolve such challenges.

Urban Keussen, senior vice president of technology and innovation at E.ON, said: “We identified safe transfer in offshore wind early on as a topic where we wanted to accelerate the technical development. This is an innovative solution that could be used in commercial operation in the near-term.”

The MaXccess system provides a stable platform from which personnel can transfer to and from the boat landing ladders mounted on turbine foundation structures. With the new MaXccess system improved access can be achieved also for smaller crew vessels. E.ON will now analyse the results from the trials in more detail with the hope to be able to transfer personnel more safely even in rougher weather conditions in the near future.

“Finding better solutions for access offshore is very important,” said Michael Lewis, chief operating officer of E.ON’s wind business. “Not only has this solution the potential to improve safety for our personnel but also improve productivity by increasing the availability of our wind turbines”