Falcon helps Japan harness offshore wind

Alternative Sources of Energy, Associations, Energy, Technology — By on September 1, 2014 at 12:01 PM

image001 (41)After Japan’s 50 nuclear reactors closed following the Fukushima disaster, wind is
now seen as an important alternative energy source.

But in a crowded and mountainous country the search for sites must go offshore,
with floating turbines the main option in the deep waters off the rugged coastline.
It is at the southernmost tip of Japan that the Ministry of the Environment is trialling
a turbine to determine the viability of floating wind turbines, in a bid to help replace
the 30% of energy lost since the nuclear shut-down.

Sure-footed anchorage to the seabed is vital in such a vulnerable environment and
a Saab Seaeye Falcon ROV is being used to check the integrity of the 400 metres
of chain to mooring points 100 metres down.

With many turbines to be installed at a depth of 100 metres or more, setting the
anchor securely is vital for the safe location of these turbines offshore.
Avoiding twists and entanglements of the 400 metre lengths of chain over a long
period of time is also of vital importance, say the research experiment group of the
project.

The Falcon, operated by Shibuya Diving,  helped monitor the anchor holding test, and the
analysis of anchor drag, as well as twist and entanglement.

Shibuya Diving chose the Falcon because it could be deployed from a small workboat at a
low operating cost and has a proven reputation  amongst many different operators across the
world for undertaking a wide variety of tasks.

It is small and easily manhandled, yet has the power to cope with strong currents around the
anchorage whilst loaded with hte hefty high definition camera needed for the task

Although compact, the Falcon is renowned for performing precise work whilst
carrying a heavy payload of cameras, sensors, sonar systems and manipulators. It
is also packed with advanced intelligent technology usually found in much larger
underwater vehicles.

With more offshore turbine installations planned, Shibuya Diving intend developing
a special work vessel from which to operate the Falcon.
The system was sold by Oceanvision of Singapore with further training support
from Japanese-speaking, California-based Symphotic

Saab Seaeye underwater systems are used at many offshore wind turbine sites
around the world, where their range of powerful, low-profile vehicles are specially
suited for working with precise manoeuvrability in confined spaces and strong
currents.

Saab Seaeye is the world’s largest manufacturer of electric ROVs, and now
includes Saab’s underwater vehicle range of tethered, autonomous and hybrid
underwater vehicle systems for the defence industry.

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