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AIDS TO NAVIGATION


FEATURE SPONSOR


Navigating Towards Standardisation


IN A MATURING INDUSTRY THAT IS REACHING OVER 15 YEARS OF AGE, THERE IS STILL A LACK OF INTERNATIONAL STANDARDISATION IN NAVIGATION AIDS. ONE COMPANY, SABIK OFFSHORE, HAS TAKEN STEPS TO CREATING COMPREHENSIVE AND UNIVERSAL MARKING SYSTEMS THAT CAN BE DEPLOYED IN ANY COUNTRY.


The helicopter pilot is approaching his target destination, a German offshore windfarm in the North Sea. Dusk is settling in as he approaches. The landing pattern is clearly marked for his approach to the OSS and he safely touches down. After retrieving his cargo he sets off for land. The pilot is conscious that behind him is another windfarm only a few miles away. This one however is in a neighboring country, with different lighting systems.


RECOMMENDATIONS In 2008 IALA-AISM adapted their recommendation 0-139 for offshore structures to include offshore wind turbines. These recommendations, especially with the revision in 2013 offer sound advice on how a windfarm should be marked for navigation purposes. The problem however is that these are only recommendations. There is no EU standard regulation and each country has been left to interpret these recommendations for implementation in their respective offshore windfarms.


At the beginning of the offshore wind industry, each developer asked, “How do I properly mark my windfarm?” There were no industry standards, no regulations and no previous projects to set a precedent. And so they looked to marine aids to navigation for help. Projects were insulated and there was little collaboration with other developers or regulatory bodies in other countries. The result is a mixed system where each country has its own way of marking with little international consistency.


As the industry continues to grow, more and more windfarms are converging at international borders. Pilots, captains, developers, planners and service technicians continually work internationally on offshore wind projects however the basis for their work is rarely the same.


A STARTING POINT Each project starts with a clean drawing board. How do I mark my find farm? What system do I employ? What works the best for the most efficient cost? These are questions asked at the start of each offshore windfarm project. And each time they have to be carefully considered, designed and implemented, bringing high upfront costs.


Germany has taken the IALA recommendations further;


creating a set of guidelines that have to be certified before implementation. These policies and procedures make sure an offshore windfarm is navigable, regardless where in German waters it is. These guidelines also make it easy to know what the basic requirements for a windfarm are and then adjust accordingly.


Mark it, Light it, Keep it safe!


18 www.windenergynetwork.co.uk


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