There is a constant demand to stretch the boundaries in the offshore wind-turbine installation market. Turbines and their foundations are becoming bigger, heavier and higher and are being installed in more challenging environments and under harsher conditions. In combination with the need to make the installation process more efficient, GustoMSC is convinced that its holistic approach to the design process is needed to be able to offer the solutions the market is looking for.
Integrated design is our answer
GustoMSC believes that integrated design of the unit and its mission equipment provides that holistic approach. Developing Mobile Offshore Units and equipment suitable for these tasks requires a design process in which engineers look beyond the boundaries of their own discipline and develop integrated solutions together. This can only be accomplished when you understand the whole process and its dynamics, as only then can you solve the bottlenecks and limitations in the existing processes.
Foundation installation in offshore wind farms
With the increasing size of offshore wind turbines and the expanding range of locations for offshore windfarms, the foundation weight and size also keeps increasing. With monopiles of 3,000t and possibly more, and jackets becoming increasingly tall, the challenge is on.
To address this challenge, GustoMSC is developing a range of Foundation Installation Vessels in addition to its well-known range of NG-type wind-turbine installation jack-ups. Building on the Ensis design introduced in 2016 for optimized monopile installation, new and highly effective solutions are under continuous development at GustoMSC and its partners in NOV Marine & Construction.
Insight into the installation processes, integration of disciplines
Applying this philosophy to the development of a new generation of foundation installation vessels, GustoMSC has embarked on the development of ship and equipment design based on an extensive program to fully analyze the installation processes. These processes interact and influence each other, and benefit from a constant flow of information exchange that emerges from these processes.
Our implementation of this iterative process stands out in the integration of all disciplines and, in particular, in the understanding of the installation steps and their challenges and limitations.
This is further supported by the in-depth expertise of the individual teams on their specific products, which allows them to further optimize the individual components such as the heavy-lift crane and monopile handling equipment within the overall context.
Combining our understanding of the installation process and our methodical approach to the integrated design process with our ability to make these integrated trade-offs and decisions on the design of the ship and its mission equipment results in this holistic approach that enables us to provide a truly optimized solution.
Working together, close interaction
This integrated development of the design and the equipment requires close interaction and collaboration between our teams from different disciplines. The vessel design team, the analysis team and the equipment teams are all involved in this process. For the Ensis development, the teams involved come from various disciplines throughout the NOV Marine & Construction group. The crane design team responsible for NOV Heavy-Lift Cranes is part of the GustoMSC organization, supported by specific expertise from Lifting & Handling in Norway. The team for the deck equipment comes from NOV Remacut in Italy, which specializes in large-scale handling equipment. They are designing the monopile handling, upending and motion compensated gripper that are needed to make the vessel an effective tool. We even take the interaction a step further by working together with our customers and suppliers. This not only offers opportunities in the technical field, but also makes it possible to jointly support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) across the world and accelerate sustainable changes.
Engineers are going off the beaten track and developing integrated solutions together.
More efficiency on the job
The demand for more efficiency goes beyond weight and size, it also applies to the way of working, including working under more difficult conditions. We aim to increase the workability of a crane vessel beyond what is common practice today. To achieve high workability, we analyzed the interaction between the vessel, the equipment and its operations. For example, for monopile installation, the teams didn’t stop at what the gripper’s design should be. They investigate the whole process. What does it take to install a monopile with a crane vessel and what work processes are involved? One of the outcomes that emerged after analyzing all the data was to optimize the location of the upend hinge and gripper. These optimizations aim to reduce or eliminate the movements needed in the installation process, an important step forward that directly influences the development of the new Ensis designs and corresponding equipment specifications.
In-depth understanding the many aspects of the monopile installation is key to a successful design.
Pioneering for mutual success
Before we could increase the efficiency, we had to dig deeper than is common in crane-vessel design. At GustoMSC, we are good at solving complex problems, utilizing our expertise to make a real difference is what motivates us as offshore pioneers. Real pioneering in offshore engineering work at the intersection of advanced technological expertise and awareness of the complexity of offshore operations. We look at the design and equipment in such a way that the whole operation becomes more efficient. This is a different way of looking at the development of new vessels and innovative equipment. In this process of developing new solutions, it is very important to sit down with our customers and discover where the bottlenecks are, analyze them and then improve the design and equipment. Receiving feedback on the whole concept and thus increasing our knowledge and understanding to improve our solutions are key to mutual success. With 150 years of experience in the offshore industry, and thanks to our integrated design approach and the GustoMSC DNA, we have grown into a leading partner. By supporting sustainable developments around the world, we help our customers with future challenges and share new opportunities.
The demand for more efficiency goes beyond technology, efficiency needs to be integrated in the combination of technology and operations.
Commercial Director at GustoMSC
Alain Wassink is Commercial director at GustoMSC. As a naval architect with over 20 years experience in the offshore industry, he has been responsible for several major and groundbreaking projects and holds multiple patents, including for the innovative Seaway Strashnov crane vessel hull. Since taking up his position as a commercial director he is commercially responsible for GustoMSC’s activities in the design and engineering for mobile offshore units in the construction, accommodation and production markets. Within the offshore construction market windturbine and foundation installation are a particular focus for GustoMSC.