The consortium, led by ITPEnergised, has launched a low-cost dynamic positioning (DP) barge which is expected to significantly improve the commercial viability of the wave and tidal energy generation sector.
The project, backed by Innovate UK, combined the expertise of Falmouth-based marine construction contractor and vessel owner Keynvor Morlift (KML), dynamic positioning system developer Reygar of Gloucester, and A&P Falmouth, which provided the dry dock facility and carried out the modification and conversion works.
Earlier this year the consortium completed five years of research and development, including a trial of the Mormaen DP1 Barge off Falmouth in March.
The KML-owned barge was converted to take twin 430kW modular deck mounted azimuth thrusters and the StemTIDE DP system. StemTIDE allows a vessel with two or more directional thrusters to hold position or accurately maneuver under automatic or joystick assisted control.
The system also allows subsea vehicles such as ROV’s to be automatically followed for survey type work and can work with conventional azimuthing thrusters, waterjets and even fixed main drives with bow and stern thrusters, according to Reygar.
The innovation is expected to significantly improve the commercial viability of the wave and tidal energy generation sector and accelerate market growth and maturity, as well as to boost the operability of barges on a variety of construction projects, the consortium said.
Diccon Rogers, KML’s Managing Director, said: “The combination of KML’s powerful thrusters and Reygar’s DP system makes the Mormaen 15 a highly versatile and cost-effective stable platform for a variety of amphibious, nearshore and offshore applications including cable lay, wave and tidal energy installations, offshore wind construction and O&M, and marine civil engineering.”