The Limpet team was out in force on Tuesday and Wednesday this week, as part of a video shoot with ITN Productions on the Levenmouth Offshore Wind Demonstration Turbine in Fife. This mammoth wind turbine is now owned by the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult and is the world’s most advanced, open access offshore wind turbine dedicated to research.
Certainly, as you cross the gangway that connects the turbine to land, you get a sense of the enormous scale of the engineering on this Samsung 7MW prototype. And the numbers back that up; blades with a diameter of 171 metres, a hub height of 112 metres, a nine metre high, three level nacelle that is 18 metres long.
We had agreed with ITN that they would make a short film about Limpet Technology as part of a video reel being developed with the World Petroleum Council, to showcase new innovations coming into the energy sector. Our goal was to demonstrate the applications where Limpet systems are currently being used by wind energy companies, particularly ladder access and blade repair.
We also wanted to highlight a new Limpet product that is under development, which, through rapid heave compensated fall arrest and hoisting, can safely transfer technicians between crew transfer vessels and offshore wind turbines in much higher sea states than is achievable today. Increasing safety, access and availability of far offshore wind farms is the objective of this product.
The days filming went pretty much to plan; the sun shone periodically, but frustratingly, the wind was blowing a few miles an hour faster than was safe for us to film the rotor blade access shots. However, we made the best of the situation and managed to capture what we hope will be great footage. The Limpet that we installed onto the internal access ladder worked like a dream and the 90% climb assist made the very long ladder climb look and feel fantastically easy.
Given the logistics it went very smoothly and we're now eagerly awaiting the results which will be with us in a couple of weeks. We'd like to give a big thank you to ORE Catapult for enabling us to use the turbine, which is an incredible demonstration facility; to SgurrEnergy, who's on-site team was a pleasure to work with and to RTS International, for providing their invaluable assistance in too many ways to count.