United Kingdom

United Kingdom

Ørsted buys into hoist system designer

Ørsted has acquired a 22.5% stake in Scottish company Pict Offshore, which created a hoist system that removes the need for technicians to step from boats onto ladders to reach the base of the offshore wind turbine.

Pict Offshore's GUS system is patent-protected and is the final stages of development, it stated
Pict Offshore's GUS system is patent-protected and is the final stages of development, it stated

Pict Offshore has carried out more than 1,600 successful tests at Ørsted sites, and its patented "Get Up Safe" (GUS) system is the final stages of development.

With Pict’s system, crew transfer vessels push directly against a transition piece instead of onto boat landing platforms, as they typically do before a technician scales a ladder up to the base of the turbine.

Ørsted suggested that removing the need for external access ladders reduces the amount of steel required in the structure and creates further potential for cost reduction.

A line is called down via remote control, allowing the technician to clip themselves onto the GUS line and be lifted up to the platform.

The system uses lasers to track the motion of a vessel’s deck. If the vessel suddenly rises or falls, the line is adjusted to move the technician out of harm’s way.

Currently, technicians have to climb ladders to reach the base of a turbine

Other technologies exist to make technician access to turbines safer, but Pict claimed they are either expensive or not universally deployable.

Pict said its technology could be used with all vessels, while motion-compensated gangways, for example — which allow technicians to walk directly onto the base of a turbine from a vessel via a secured walkway — can only be used with larger jack-up vessels.

It added that using helicopters is more expensive than crew-transfer vessels.

Philip Taylor, Pict Offshore’s managing director, said the partnership with Ørsted has accelerated the commercialisation of the GUS technology.

Pict, a spin-off from height safety engineering company Limpet Technology, initially developed the GUS system to assist technicians’ transfer between boats and access ladders.

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