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DNV has launched a class notation for offshore wind turbine installation units.

The market for wind turbine installation units is growing rapidly as the offshore wind industry picks up pace.

The classification of these units is based on DNV’s offshore service specification DNV OSS-101 ‘Rules for Classification of Offshore Drilling and Support Units’, which was originally developed for classifying drilling and production vessels used in the oil-and-gas industry.

Wind turbine installation units may be column-stabilised, self-elevating or ship-shaped units that are tailor made for the installation and maintenance of fixed and floating wind power equipment.

They are designed to install the different equipment, such as foundations, columns, generator houses and blades, piece by piece by crane lifts or in one operation using lowering techniques.

Henning Carlsen, the business development manager in DNV’s Offshore Classification unit, said: ‘Compared to traditional oil-and-gas units, these vessels have a different set of safety and technical issues and are not normally designed for the hazards of the oil-and-gas industry, such as exposure to extreme weather and hydrocarbons leading to a risk of fire and explosions.’ The increased involvement in the classification of wind turbine installation vessels also falls into DNV’s portfolio of services to the wind energy market, including certification and qualification projects relating to floating and fixed wind turbines.

The class notation, which will serve as a method for how to class wind turbine installation vessels, is currently being piloted and is expected to be added to DNV OSS-101 by October 2009.

The new rules for wind turbine installation units focus on four main areas: general design and construction requirements for wind turbine, wave power and tidal power installation units; design requirements for the different types of wind turbine installation units, which include ship-shaped units, self-elevating units and column-stabilised units; structural details relating to the lifting operations and the many cycles of repeated vessel operations; and the certification of materials and components.

DNV CC Technologies

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