Rune Rolvsjord, NORCE
NORCE researcher, Geir Nævdal, leads one of the work packages in the Ocean Charger project - on automation of operations. Vard Design leads the project.
The offshore wind industry is growing rapidly, both in Norway and internationally. It is therefore important to find solutions on how to develop and operate wind farms with the lowest possible carbon emissions.
Battery-powered vessels provide maximum energy efficiency but will need solutions for charging at sea to be able to operate and maintain wind farms in an emission-free, safe, and responsible manner.
The Ocean Charger project, which has received support from the government's Green Platform initiative, will contribute to developing and building new maritime infrastructure.
The plan is to ensure emission-free vessel operation by connecting vessels to the power grid in the wind farm and charging batteries regularly. Vard Design leads the project together with sister companies Seaonics and Vard Electro. Partners are Rem Offshore, Solstad Offshore, SINTEF Energi, SINTEF Ocean, DigiCat, Sustainable Energy, Equinor, Source Energie, Corvus Energy, Plug, Shoreline, Marin Energi Testsenter, NORCE, University of Bergen and Maritime CleanTech.
Vessels that are to operate and maintain wind farms currently use fossil fuels. This constitutes a significant proportion of the total emissions during the lifetime of the wind farm and must be replaced with emission-free solutions.
- At NORCE we will find out how we can automate charging at sea and the operation and maintenance of wind farms and other installations. The purpose is to save time, money, and energy, says Geir Nævdal, researcher at NORCE, and leader of a sub-project on automation.
- For NORCE, this project will also contribute to strengthening our activities aimed at the green shift, and complement our activities aimed at the offshore wind and battery-powered maritime operations. We will also work with business models that can make a green shift possible in the project, says Nævdal.
NORCE will also find out whether loading at sea has potential in other marine industries, such as petroleum, fisheries, and offshore farming.
- Close contact with, among other things, wind farm developers and energy companies are important for success. An offshore charging structure for battery-powered vessels is the very "holy grail" when it comes to battery operation, says Atle Blomgren, senior researcher at NORCE.
The project is part of the Government's Green Platform initiative. The purpose of these projects is to support research- and innovation-driven green transformation in the business world. Through the Green Platform, the government wants to trigger more and faster investments in green, sustainable solutions and products.