Floating Offshore Wind Support Vessel

New concept supporting floating offshore wind installation

Enabling the next big development in offshore wind

Floating Offshore Wind Support Vessel

Anticipating upcoming large scale floating windfarm installation, Damen has developed the FLOW-SV concept that can accelerate the development of this new maritime segment. The Damen FLOW-SV is specially designed to install ground tackles for offshore turbine floaters. The vessel can load the immense lengths of chain needed to install and secure nine anchors or suction piles. Instead of mooring one floating windmill in a mission, three can be secured. It also applies sufficient proof loading on the anchors in order to make the installation more efficient.

Reason to develop a new concept

The current market does not have an efficient vessel

Given the size of the turbines and the depths of the water in which they will be positioned, these FOWTs will require chains and anchors of unprecedented sizes. Even just one installation starting to drag an anchor could haveserious impact on the output of an entire wind farm. The anchoring systems must leave nothing to chance.


Floating Offshore Wind Support vessel 400

Concept principals

The need for more efficiency

While anchoring technologies will remain much the same, the vessels required will need to be much bigger than today’s anchor handling vessels. And given the projected demand for their services, they will also have to be exceptionally efficient.

Unique installation method

A unique feature of the FLOW-SV is the combination of bollard pull generated by the thrusters and added pulling force from the bow reaction anchor winch. This adds up to 1,000 tons of proof load. The FLOW-SV deploys the bow anchor and embeds it by reversed bollard pull. She then moves to the spot where the anchor for the floater needs to be installed. After letting out enough chain length, the anchor for the floater needs to be proof loaded, ensuring a secure seabed connection.

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More capacity for more efficiency

Measuring approximately 140-150 meters in length and a 32 meter beam, the FLOW-SV is a big ship. The size and weight of anchors and chains needed for installing offshore floating wind turbines are so big that a larger vessel is needed than any anchor handling vessel before. As the FLOW-SV is able to take all the materials and equipment needed to install 3 floaters, the vessel saves time on transits and loading. Secured at all three corners, a floater needs three ground tackles.

Optimized propulsion layout

Two fixed propellers in nozzles and two azimuthing thrusters at the stern propel the FLOW-SV and provide forward bollard pull. The azimuthing thrusters turn 180 degrees to provide ample reverse bollard pull when the bow anchor is set. The azimuthing thrusters are also engaged for dynamic positioning, together with the retractable azimuthing thruster in the bow section of the vessel.

Future forward thinking

The FLOW-SV complies with IMO tier III today and is ready to be powered by Methanol tomorrow. Tanks and piping are in place according to safety regulations for this future fuel. The vessel can even be upgraded with a hybrid battery pack.


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