Over 600 innovators enter offshore safety contest

Over 600 organisations have registered for a competition to improve safety on wind farms many miles offshore. Entrants include more than 300 from the UK, 120 from North America and […]

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By Tom Gibson

Over 600 organisations have registered for a competition to improve safety on wind farms many miles offshore.

Entrants include more than 300 from the UK, 120 from North America and 110 from continental Europe, with 35 from Norway.

But organiser the Carbon Trust wants to see more participation from Asia.

Phil de Villiers, offshore wind accelerator manager at the Trust, said: “We’ve had a terrific response from companies based in the Europe and North America. However, we believe there may be technologies from the oil and gas sector in South East Asia that could be applicable to the offshore wind market.”

By building wind farms as far out to sea as 300km, the potential power capacity is greatly increased, but the sea conditions make it much harder for the turbines to be serviced.

The dangerous nature of high winds and waves has been the biggest barrier to the creation of such farms and so developing new systems to enable the safe transfer of equipment to the turbines will improve the efficiency and operating hours of the wind farms.

Mr de Villiers added: “The competition is looking for the very best ideas from around the world to help drive forward the UK’s offshore wind industry and we are encouraging more organisations to put their ideas forward before the competition deadline.”

The competition winner will win £100,000 per concept to support its design and development. The deadline for entries is November 26.