HydroWing’s new barge to cut installation and maintenance costs of its tidal energy technology
HydroWing, part of Inyaga Marine Energy Group, has developed a new barge aimed at reducing the costs of installing and maintaining its tidal stream array technology.
HydroWing was the largest tidal stream project in Wales to be successful in the UK government’s latest Contracts for Difference (CfD) round, having been awarded a 10 MW project at the Morlais tidal energy site in Anglesey.
The tidal energy sector has struggled with high operational and maintenance costs. HydroWing’s technology, which includes a patented wing system, simplifies operations by allowing turbines to be removed without disturbing the foundation.
The Quad Hull Barge is an addition to this system, enhancing productivity and further reducing costs.
“Deployment, recovery, and operations and maintenance are large factors in determining the levelized cost of electricity. However, offshore construction vessel availability is very weak with expensive day rates. This means that the cost of planned and unplanned offshore operations is very high. HydroWing’s new Quad Hull Barge has 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,” said Richard Parkinson, MD of Inyanga Marine Energy Group, the parent company of HydroWing.
“By using four hulls connected by crossbeams and arch support beams, the limit to load width is dramatically increased. 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.”
According to Richard Parkinson, Quad Hull Barge marks a significant advancement for offshore operators. Its modular design allows easy transport as well as assembly.
The barge’s design, which includes four pontoons that are 25 tonnes each, ensures reduced manufacturing costs. It is low drag, and easier to tow, therefore making it easy to handle for small, locally available tugs.
All of these factors will help to lower the cost of each intervention. In addition, it is on permanent standby and can be deployed quickly, which will help operators to reduce production downtime, added Parkinson.
According to Parkinson, the Quad Hull Barge enables the servicing of HydroWing tidal energy arrays using existing port infrastructure, avoiding significant investments.
HydroWing has filed a patent application for the design of its Quad Hull Barge.
In terms of other recent news coming from Inyanga Marine Energy Group, the company has opened a new office in Wales to support the development of the 10 MW Hydrowing tidal stream energy project at Morlais, Anglesey.