By Andrew Safer. Reprinted from Nov. 11, 2011 Issue of Marine Log (New York): By 2020, wind farms with as many as 2,500 turbines are expected to be built up to 285 km from shore—more than ten times as far offshore as current wind farms. This will present a new set of challenges for the marine industry.

One of these is providing a stable platform in harsher wave conditions for the transfer of personnel and equipment during maintenance operations. ExtremeOcean Innovations thinks it has the solution in the TranSPAR craft.


PHOTO: Peter Gifford, CEO, ExtremeOcean Innovation (left) and Dr. Brian Veitch, Chief Technical Officer, ExtremeOcean Innovation. Photo: Andrew Safer

St. John’s, Newfoundland-based ExtremeOcean Innovation submitted the design for the TranSPAR to the Carbon Trust Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA) Access Competition. ExtremeOcean Innovation is now one of 13 finalists of 450 entries worldwide.

According to the OWA’s Access Competition’s “Competition Specification and Overview” document, current vessels used for this purpose are capable of effecting transfers in conditions up to 1.5 meter significant wave height. The competition solicited proposals for solutions that would enable access in conditions with a significant wave heights of 3 meters.”

The TranSPAR craft is “radically different from any other vessel design,” according to the Carbon Trust web site. It has two vertical struts with foil sections that intersect with the water surface, creating a small water plane area. Because of this, wave action will result in minimal disruption to the vessel.

A crew cabin 3.5 meters above the water surface and a heavy-hulled propeller-driven bottom provide a center of buoyancy that is above the center of gravity—the same design principle that ensures that submarines don’t roll over underwater.