Customer: Richardson Marine Ltd (for CWind)
Vessels: CWind Fulmar, Endurance, Endeavour
“USING BAREFLEET GIVES US AN EDGE”
Fleet Superintendent at Richardson Marine Ltd, Stuart Richardson manages eight vessels for the offshore wind industry, working for wind farm operators such as Dong Energy and EON.
Among Stuart’s biggest challenges is to keep on top of vessel performance so that any potential problems can be detected and fixed quickly, hopefully avoiding the need to take boats out of service for major repairs.
“Monitoring the performance of the vessels I’m in charge of is a big priority for me, as they’re so heavily relied on, but it’s often difficult to spot any problems before they’re already quite advanced,” explains Stuart.
Stuart turned to Reygar after hearing about BareFLEET, its new fleet monitoring system, which provides a host of valuable information – including health, performance and positional details – all of which is gathered automatically and sent back to shore. BareFLEET was installed on Fulmar and Endurance, two of CWind’s specialised vessels. Currently operating at the Duddon Sands wind farm in Barrow in Furness, the boats play a big role in facilitating turbine construction and maintenance.
“We initially used BareFLEET to give us early warning of any issues with the health of the vessels via live email alerts and daily condition reports,” explains Stuart.
“Having a live monitoring facility has meant we can plan inspection and maintenance, fixing any problems before they lead to vessel downtime. The crew on board the boats don’t have the experience I do, so they may not know what to look out for, but I can keep an eye on what’s going on without having to be on board with them.”
In instances where maintenance or repair work has been needed, the information gathered by BareFLEET has enabled a quick full fault diagnosis. A major role for both the Fulmar and Endurance is the transfer of crew to and from wind turbines and, thanks to some new additions to the system, BareFLEET has also played a part in improving this process.
The system’s reports now detail when and where these transfers have taken place, what the vessel heave motion was like at the time, and with what force it pushed onto the turbine tower.
“This automatic reporting allows the skippers on my boats to concentrate on transferring people rather than keeping detailed logs,” adds Stuart. “With as many as 20 transfers taking place in one day, it can make a real difference to overall efficiency and, of course, safety.”
The fuel graphs generated by BareFLEET are also helping Stuart to work on reducing the fleet fuel bill – a factor that ultimately benefits Dong.
“Something that windfarm operators are really focusing on is fuel saving, so it’s good to have a picture of how much you’re using and whether taking a different route can save fuel and so on,” says Stuart. “This gives us an edge – we can help them save money and we can reduce our own carbon footprint by taking the most economical route around the windfarms.”
Such has been the value of BareFLEET, it has now been installed on a third CWind vessel, Endeavour.