SOUL JACKUP: NEXT STEP UP FOR OFFSHORE WIND
ULSTEIN and SeaOwls have launched a pioneering heavy-lift jack-up vessel design: the SOUL jackup. The cruciform structural lay-out makes the solution more than 10% lighter than conventional designs. The concept aims to install the next generation 10-12 MW wind turbines in the same time frame as used today for installing 6-8 MW units. Scaling-up conventional heavy lift jack-up vessel designs proves challenging due to the disproportional weight increase compared to gain in Variable Deck Load (VDL).
“We noticed this created uncertainty with turbine manufacturers, wind farm operators and installation contractors on how to install the future generation wind turbines, as floating vessels are not a viable alternative”, comments Erik Snijders, founder and managing director at Rotterdam based SeaOwls, and continues:
“So we went back to the optimal jack-up design, a square platform with the legs spaced out as much as possible. Rotating the platform by 45o provided a natural bow shape with two legs and the crane on vessel centre line.” The SOUL series will come in various sizes, allowing the transport of 3 up to 6 of the 10-12MW wind turbines. Still, all loading and installation operations can be performed without the need of ballast water. (Source and image: Ulstein)