Offshore Wind Accelerator launches app developed to optimise offshore vessel performance

Vessel on offshore wind farm

The Carbon Trust’s Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA) has launched a new dedicated app, designed to estimate the motion and performance of seagoing vessels by using the in-built sensors within a smartphone or tablet device. The app will help improve operating efficiency by reducing costs, driving down vessel emissions, and ultimately accelerate the move to a decarbonised future.

The Vessel Motion Monitoring App (VMMA) has been developed through the OWA, the Carbon Trust’s flagship collaborative research, development and demonstration (RD&D) programme, with support from Enigma Interactive and Seaspeed Marine Consultants.

The VMMA will measure and compare the performance of crew transfer vessels (CTV’s) in different sea states, when transporting wind farm technicians offshore, and when transferring between offshore structures. Having this data will facilitate the optimisation of operations and maintenance (O&M).

Previous OWA research undertaken in 2014 established performance plots, or ‘P-Plots’, as a method of quantifying and displaying the performance of vessels operating on offshore wind farms. However, generating P-Plots is time consuming. Understanding the impact that P-Plots have in optimising the industry’s operations led the OWA to pioneer an app that would rapidly produce P-Plots efficiently and effectively by using the motion sensors built into a smartphone or tablet device.

Anders Wikborg, Marine Operations Manager at Equinor, commented:

“The VMMA is a handy tool to measure and compare transit and transfer performance of CTVs and Daughter Crafts. It will be particularly useful for offshore sea trials of vessels and can complement a permanent onboard measurement system (VMMS).”

Alistair Morris, Associate (Offshore Wind) at the Carbon Trust, added:

“The release of the VMMA signifies the completion of an extensive collaborative project between the OWA partners, Enigma interactive and Seaspeed Marine Consultants. The VMMA will allow a wide range of offshore wind, and broader maritime users to better understand the motion and thus performance of vessels.  This can in turn improve health and safety, operational planning and help reduce carbon emissions of vessels.”    

VMMA screenshots

Image: Screenshots from the VMMA app

This app is designed primarily for the offshore wind industry, with a dedicated login feature that allows pre-approved users to record, share and connect specific ‘transit’ and ‘transfer’ P-Plots through the app and associated web portal. Users can evaluate a CTV’s motion and performance in various sea states. The VMMA also has the potential for numerous applications across the wider maritime industry. The basic functionality of the app (which does not require a dedicated login) allows a user to display and record vessel attitude, acceleration, speed, position, and course using the sensors within a smartphone or tablet device. This data can then be saved and exported to be further analysed by the user. 

The accuracy of the data provided by the app has been validated against a permanent Vessel Motion Monitoring System, through a rigorous offshore testing process at Rhyl Flats windfarm (RWE) onboard the NSL Excalibur CTV. It is however not intended to replace these dedicated systems or be used for contractual purposes. 

The VMMA can be downloaded in the App store or Google Play by searching VMMA, or by using the QR code provided below.

VMMA qr code
Notes to editors

For further details please contact the Carbon Trust press office on or call +44 (0) 20 7170 7050.

About the Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA)

The Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA) is the Carbon Trust's flagship collaborative research, development and deployment programme. The joint initiative was set up between the Carbon Trust and nine offshore wind developers in 2008, with the aim to reduce the cost of offshore wind to be competitive with conventional energy generation, as well as provide insights regarding industry standard (and best practice) health and safety requirements. 

The current phase involves participation and funding from nine international energy companies: EnBW, Equinor, Ørsted, RWE Renewables, ScottishPower Renewables, Shell, SSE Renewables, TotalEnergies and Vattenfall, who collectively represent 73% of Europe’s installed offshore wind capacity.

The OWA is one in a portfolio of offshore wind joint industry programmes led by the Carbon Trust, alongside ORJIP, the Floating Wind JIP and the Integrator. 

About the Carbon Trust

The Carbon Trust has been pioneering decarbonisation for more than 20 years for businesses, governments and organisations around the world. As a trusted, expert guide to Net Zero, bringing purpose led, vital expertise from the climate change frontline, it draws on the experience of over 300 experts internationally, accelerating progress and providing solutions to the climate crisis. 

The Carbon Trust has supported over 3,000 organisations in 50 countries with their climate action planning, collaborating with 150+ partners in setting science-based targets, and supporting cities across five continents on the journey to Net Zero.

The Carbon Trust provides solutions to the climate crisis, supporting organisations globally as they accelerate towards Net Zero. From target setting, Net Zero pathways, assurance and footprinting, to policy advice, strategy setting and programme delivery, the Carbon Trust seeks smarter ways to turn intent into impact, where sustainability and economic realities go hand in hand.

About Enigma Interactive 

Enigma Interactive is a digital development agency that specialises in working with clients to use digital to achieve their objectives whether increasing sales, improving customer service or delighting users with interactive experiences. Typically, they do this through the design and build of digital strategies, class-leading websites, mobile apps and custom software.

Enigma’s clients are drawn from across the UK and include businesses from ambitious start-ups to multinationals. Utilities with 8 million customers, National broadcasters like the BBC and eCommerce clients turning over hundreds of millions each month.

The work Enigma has recently completed with The Carbon Trust draws on their experience of mobile app design, custom software development and data visualisation. Working together The Carbon Trust, Enigma and Marine Consultancy Seaspeed have been able to prove, with a proof of concept app, that smartphone sensors are capable of consistent and accurate measurements of vessel motion.

About Seaspeed Marine Consultants 

Seaspeed Marine Consulting Ltd (Seaspeed) is a technical marine consultancy company specialising in the performance of marine systems at sea. Seaspeed’s core business areas are hydrodynamics, simulation, scale model testing and sea trials monitoring. The company works in the transport, defence and offshore energy sectors covering the performance of boats, ships and other floating, submerged, moored or fixed structures at sea.