ABB has introduced a new Operational Planner module for its ABB Ability OCTOPUS – Marine Advisory System to help offshore fleet managers plan and optimize the maintenance of offshore wind farm operations.
For support vessels moving between turbines or rigs during a single shift, OCTOPUS Operational Planner forecasts vessel workability across multiple sites. Whereas an offshore support vessel typically relies on an onboard weather routing system to predict weather and wave heights, OCTOPUS incorporates the weather forecast into the system, combines it with the vessel’s hydrodynamic properties based on size and design, and calculates the expected vessel motions. Thus, instead of weather, the operational limit of the vessel is based on its maximum allowable motions for offshore operations, for example safety in deploying robotic platforms for inspection and maintenance.
The module represents ABB’s contribution as a key technology partner for the EU-funded ATLANTIS research project. ATLANTIS is exploring remote offshore inspection and maintenance techniques using advanced robotic systems for wind farms and developed two Testbeds in the Atlantic Ocean to be used by the international community.
Enhancing operational efficiency in maintenance is a growing challenge for the offshore wind sector. The Global Wind Energy Council forecasts the sector will add 680GW of new capacity in the period 2023-2027, and Clarksons estimates there will be surge in demand for support, crew transfer and maintenance vessels to maintain wind farms over the course of their lifespan.