CWind, Global Marine Group Deliver First Hybrid-Powered Surface Effect Ship


CWind, a provider of project services, crew transfer vessels (CTVs) and GWO-accredited training courses to the offshore wind industry, and the Global Marine Group have delivered the world’s first hybrid-powered surface effect ship (SES), the CWind Pioneer.

The vessel was developed in response to an industry-wide push to develop and deploy innovative technologies that reduce CO2 emissions while cost-effectively servicing wind farms located further offshore. The vessel achieves this through a hybrid-diesel and battery-electric power system which enables the vessel to operate purely on battery power while in a harbor or at standby at a wind farm – resulting in a decrease in fuel burn and CO2.

With surface effect hull form and heave compensation technology, the CWind Pioneer can operate at speeds exceeding 43.5 kts and can transit and transfer safely in sea states in excess of 1.8 m Hs, while minimizing motion and acceleration through its air cushion motion control system – resulting in a smoother, more comfortable CTV experience for technicians and crew. The overall design and build, with a 24 passenger capacity, pays particular attention to technician and crew health, safety and comfort.

The high transit speed of the vessel also means wind farms previously serviceable only by an expensive SOV can now be reached by the SES CTV within 60 minutes, giving wind farm owners and operators more low-cost, low-carbon options when determining their transfer strategy.

“The launch of the CWind Pioneer marks a significant milestone for the industry and helps pave the way towards achieving net-zero targets,” says Nathanael Allison, managing director of CWind. “The vessel utilizes revolutionary technology to meet the needs of the market and our customers who want a greener CTV to support their commercial objectives. With the CWind Pioneer, we have delivered just that – a new generation of CTVs.”

The CWind Pioneer will be used at the Borssele 1 and 2 offshore wind farms through a long-term charter contract agreement with Ørsted. Using the CWind Pioneer enables Ørsted to not only deliver and service their wind farms efficiently through reduced transit times but also supports their ambition of a world that runs entirely on green energy.

The Hybrid SES propulsion engine delivers sprint speed and extreme bollard push from its 1,600 kW installed diesel engines, which can be battery boosted up to 1,800 kW.

The vessel was built by Wight Shipyard Co., a U.K.-based aluminium and high-speed craft vessel builder.

Photo: The CWind Pioneer SES

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