ScanReach POB Connect Wind is the world’s only offshore wind solution that connects wind turbines and service operation vessels in a wireless Internet of Things platform, vastly improving worker safety. “ScanReach is the ‘seatbelt’ of the maritime and offshore wind industry,” says Jacob Grieg Eide of ScanReach. “Our solution brings a level of safety to offshore wind that has not been possible before.”
The ocean is one of the world’s most dangerous working environments. It is not surprising, then, that the offshore wind industry has its safety challenges. Crews work in open seas, further and further away from shore, on wind turbines the size of the Eiffel Tower. To get to the turbines, workers must cross over open water from a service operation vessel (SOV), sometimes in extreme weather.
Despite these risks, SOV captains lack an overview of each worker’s exact location. “Up until now, the maritime industry has not known where their crew is at any time. Search and rescue and muster are still being done manually. If you get injured in a remote place, you will probably just lie there with limited chances of getting the help you need,” says Eide.
ScanReach has launched the world’s first complete wireless Internet of Things (IoT) platform for the maritime and offshore wind industry. Able to operate in confined steel environments , the wireless solution connects all personnel involved in wind farm operations, including those on wind turbines and SOVs. The result is highly effective Personnel On-Board (POB) control without the need for cables.
ScanReach removes multiple barriers to safer wind farms. “Our solution solves the problem of steel penetration and connects people across long distances at sea between each wind turbine and the vessel. It’s also easy to install and highly cost efficient. In fact, our solution only costs approximately 50 cents per person per day,” says Eide.
ScanReach is the “seatbelt” of the maritime and offshore wind industry, according to Eide. “Our offshore wind solution pinpoints the location of workers in real time, from the farthest ship bulkhead to the highest wind turbine. It also gives full POB control on walk-to-work gangways,” he explains.
This ensures better emergency response and reduces search and rescue time from hours to minutes. Wearables allow workers to communicate one-to-one as well. “It’s important to get this technology out there to save lives,” says Eide.
ScanReach also improves vessel efficiency. With a real-time overview of personnel, SOV captains can make sounder logistical decisions about who to pick up, where and when. This reduces the distance sailed within the wind farm, which in turn reduces energy consumption, environmental pollution and operating costs.
The offshore wind industry is expected to grow by 20 per cent over the next five years. By 2050, the industry is projected to reach USD 1 trillion, with 120 000 wind turbines deployed around the world. Due to the inherent dangers, wind farm operators will need to put worker safety front and centre to protect their crews and recruit enough new personnel to such high-risk jobs.
After years of development, ConnectPOB Wind is already in use on numerous offshore wind SOVs, and the company is gaining contracts at a rapid pace. “It’s a bright future for safety in the wind power industry,” says Eide.
ScanReach also delivers a general ConnectPOB solution for all maritime vessels.