HydroWing has introduced a new barge technology to help cut tidal energy operation and maintenance costs.
Quad Hull Barge, the new modular solution, allows for sets of tidal energy turbines to be removed without also removing, or requiring additional work on, the asset’s foundations – thereby streamlining operations and maintenance for tidal energy.
According to the patented technology’s parent company, Inyanga Marine Energy Group, this means the technology can tackle one of the largest barriers to the commercialisation of tidal energy: high operation and maintenance costs.
Richard Parkinson, managing director of Inyanga Marine Energy Group said that Quad Hull Barge had been “specifically designed to tackle this issue, driving down costs and ensuring the turbines can be effectively maintained at low cost and with reduced downtime”.
“By using four hulls connected by crossbeams and arch support beams, the limit to load width is dramatically increased,” continued Parkinson.
“Where commercial vessels would typically need to place the load onto the deck with little to no overhang of the load, the Quad Hull Barge locks the load after lifting to the arch. This reduces offshore handling and makes the operation much safer. It means that the width of the load can be independent of the vessel width.”
The four pontoons within the Quad Hull Barge are 25 tonnes each, meaning that they can be transported by road in order to lower manufacturing costs.
The Barge will be installed as part of HydroWing which is a patented technology designed to be a “cost-effective and scalable solution to tidal stream energy generation” and was the largest tidal stream project to be successful in the Contracts for Difference (CfD) auction round (AR5), awarded a 10MW tidal energy project in Anglesey.
“The Quad Hull Barge will mean that our HydroWing tidal energy arrays can be serviced by existing port infrastructure, rather than requiring major new investment, which is one of the keys to ensuring that the sector achieves profitable growth into the future,” concluded Parkinson.