In the Offshore Renewables Industry, Operations Managers are reliant on real-time data. Decisions made with respect to maintaining a safe working environment, effective and efficient management of resources is always dependent on the quality of the information at hand. Presently developers and operators within the offshore renewables industry are shielded from accessing real-time field data by fragmented and marginal bandwidth communication systems. Increasing field site size, remoteness, and the development of new regulations simply compound the inadequacies of the present systems in place.
The Force55 Ltd RF-mesh network capabilities allow for a significantly increased remote data transfer size and rate. The ‘non-single point failure’ mesh-network design will provide a robust solution, thus ensuring a superior and reliable connection to the field. Unlike other AIS/VHF based systems, the superior communication platform and modular design enables the system to evolve further and incorporate Client specific feature add-ons and expediently absorb constantly developing regulations in this relatively new industry. The 802.11 remote network opens the gateway for the use of a wide range of wifi-based/IoT technology and facilities, advancing the offshore technology environment to onshore smart-city standards.
Driven by the fact that offshore operations managers are totally reliant on the remote data they receive to maintain safe working environment and effective and efficient management of resources.
It should be noted that unlike the open-forum data submission of AIS systems, the Force55 system is designed to provide a regimented in-house system with secure architecture and restrictive access to logged data for post incident/accident/efficiency analysis & reporting.
Controlled access to remote data will allow for continuous assessment and revision of QHSE and safe working parameters, based on the focused acquisition of real-time data.Force55 Ltd will update remote offshore renewable site communication systems to design standards currently only available to shore-based localities. These systems will then form the foundation for the evolution of onshore monitoring capabilities and the control of improved QHSE parameters and thresholds in evermore remote offshore locations.
The modular nature of the design would mean that new and innovative approaches to the ever-evolving offshore renewables industry, could be easily incorporated without compromising the original core system objectives.
All company based vessels would be configured to transmit the respective geographical position and environmental data pertaining to each vessel. The relaying of this data to the marine control center and to other company vessels operating in the field will not be compromised by traditional line-of-sight communication systems. For obvious reasons current vessel to vessel collision and vessel to structure collision avoidance will be improved by the non-reliance on line-of sight systems such as radar, fan-beam and vhf radio systems. The collective and centralised information will provide real-time assessment and supervision of multiple vessel operations. Video data from offshore operations could also be transmitted through the network to facilitate safer monitoring of vessels and operations in the field.
Information relative to each company construction vessel or crew transfer vessel in the field is relayed via the remote wifi-network. The collation of multiple vessel data and offshore structure status is immediately accessible to the remote onshore control systems for continual assessment and control.
The Automatic Identification System is a VHF transmission systems which sends a vessels position every few seconds for the safety of all marine traffic. It is an international requirement to fit AIS for all vessels over 15 metres in length. This system is integrated and overlayed into the network so that the control center can facilitate third party marine traffic integration for the continuous assessment of collision avoidance.
Section 95 and Schedule 16 of the Energy Act 2004 set out the basic requirements for a safety zone to be placed around, or adjacent to, an offshore renewable energy installation. Watchtower cross-references, through layered content, to ECDIS licensed software as used by search and rescue institutions.
Section 95 guidelines state that a tower under construction or maintenance should hold an exclusion zone of 500m. Towers not under construction or maintenance should be attributed with an exclusion zone of 50m.
Rogue or errand vessels, not accepted by the Coordinator (i.e. not registered within the Vessel Register) automatically activate an alarm when breeching the perimeter of the applicable exclusion zone.
Field tidal movement information would be supplied and the information relayed via the network conduit in real-time to the central control systems. This data would be recorded, processed and accessed by the relevant authorised parties.
Alternatively mobile weather buoys can be strategically placed within the field development or O&M array to provide a more global environmental aspect as opposed to the inhibited data supplied by the traditional fixed structure meteorological masts.
Looking ahead, suitable observed environmental field data could be applied to the 3-D model window GUI, so that the 3-D modeling facility closely replicates the observed remote-field conditions to ensure a real time digital twin representation.
All remote vessel and environmental data would be recorded in the control room and made available for analytical evaluation and so provide the basis for efficiency savings and improvement programming for future construction operations.
All company based vessels would be configured to transmit the respective geographical position and environmental data pertaining to each vessel. The relaying of this data to the control center and to other company vessels operating in the field will not be compromised by traditional line-of-sight communication systems. For obvious reasons current vessel to vessel collision and vessel to structure collision avoidance will be improved by the non-reliance on line-of sight systems such as radar, fan-beam and VHF radio systems. The collective and centralised information will provide real-time assessment and control of multiple vessel operations. Video data from offshore operations could also be transmitted through the network to facilitate safer monitoring of vessels and operations in the field.