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James Fisher’s Ship-to-Turbine™ (STT) Oil Change System



James Fisher’s Ship-to-Turbine™ (STT) system provides significantly improved operational efficiency, safety and productivity through an innovative and cost-effective method of exchanging gearbox and hydraulic oils in offshore wind turbines.

STTTM employs proven vacuum, preheating and filtration technology to transfer the oil from a self-contained deck mounted unit supplied by Chemical Corporation (UK) Ltd, through umbilical hoses, directly eliminating the need to fill and hoist containers via the nacelle crane. The system improves safety during wind turbine oil changes and ensures the delivery of clean product to DIN ISO 4406:99 standards delivered to your turbine.

The STTTM system improves technician utilisation and reduces wind turbine down-time and risk of pollution. Successful trials demonstrated a considerable reduction in oil change operations to as low as 4 hours total pumping time per wind turbine, improving operational efficiency in your oil change operations.

    


Features

James Fisher provide a complete project management capability that focusses specifically on your needs:

  • Developed from oil exchange pumping technology in onshore applications
  • Self-contained deck mounted unit
  • Range of variants for different applications include; oil volumes, oil types, and umbilical lengths
  • Meets with DIN ISO 4406:99 product cleanliness standards
  • Certified to Gear Oil Cleanliness Levels ISO 16/14/11
  • Certified to Hydraulic Oil Cleanliness Levels ISO 15/13/10


Benefits

  • Significantly increases operational efficiency
  • Reduces wind turbine downtime
  • Improves safety and utilisation of offshore technicians
  • Enables the extraction and transportation of oil without risk of contamination
  • Utilises conventional access vessels for deployment


Complementary services

James Fisher offer a complete range of complementary solutions to support the offshore renewables industry worldwide:

  • Diving and ROV
  • Inspection and monitoring
  • Lifting and handling
  • Marine project management
  • Mass flow excavation
  • Mooring and fendering
  • Offshore personnel
  • Offshore Wind Management System (OWMS™)
  • Shoreside support bases
  • Subsea engineering
  • Vessel Motion Monitoring System (VMMS™)
  • Vessel provision and management
  • Wind turbine monitoring


Innovative collaboration to reduce costs in Offshore Wind Turbine Maintenance

STTTM comprises a containerised GOEX unit that can be accommodated on the deck of a crew transfer vessel (CTV). Umbilical hoses connect to the nacelle to allow direct removal and flushing operations followed by refilling of gearbox and hydraulic oils with filtered oil at rates of up to 25L per minute. The incredible speed and efficiency is made possible because the oil is pre-heated within the unit to 30 degrees to reduce its viscosity making it easier to pump. The old method demanded manual removal of the used oil and slowly tipping cold oil into the gearbox. Heating the fresh oil within GOEX makes it easier to handle and exchange into the gear box, eliminating contamination risk.

This process dramatically reduces operations down time with huge cost saving implications:  “Offshore wind turbine gearboxes can hold significant quantities of oil, so countless man hours and resources are wasted when the oil is exchanged manually,” says Dallas Dixon, Sales and Marketing Manager at Sage Oil Vac USA, which has developed the core technology at the heart of the STTTM system. “When routine oil services take place, any contamination introduced by manual handling can have severe consequences for major components.” However, over the last seven years the GOEX system, coupled with a pro-active approach to maintenance, has been shown to improve reliability and give higher return on investment for wind farms. This has led to more than 80 units being supplied directly to turbine OEMs, site operators and their O&M contractors worldwide.

The team at James Fisher is convinced these savings can now be delivered to the offshore market, making a fixed service cost per turbine a realistic possibility.

In addition to time (and therefore cost) savings, STTTM has additional benefits over the old system of oil transfer by virtue of its safety profile and its ability to eliminate oil contamination risk during removal and refilling operations. Its integral three-micron filtration system ensures that the clean oil meets stringent filtration standards (DIN ISO 4406:99) and guarantees that any impurities and contaminants introduced during bulk lubricant delivery or IBC filling are removed before the lubricant reaches the gearbox.

The STTTM system transforms the safety profile of handling bulk lubricants in the offshore environment but James Fisher has leveraged its vast experience and knowledge as expert in oil transfer at sea to ensure STTTM has further safety measures in place as standard. For instance, zero leakage hose couplings have been developed to break away and detach from the STTTM’s pump system under a pre-determined load (such as accidental vessel drift-off or drive-off), eliminating the risk of turbine damage or environmental pollution.

Couplings are located specifically to ensure that any detachment takes place at the STTTM system on deck, not in the nacelle. This means the umbilical hoses remain suspended, so eliminating a significant QHSE risk and allowing for rapid recovery from the water for continued operations.

The STTTM system has been developed as a modular containerised unit that can be deck mounted on load capable CTVs such as James Fisher’s dedicated 24m multipurpose vessel ‘Dart Fisher’ or larger Service Operation Vessels. Used oil is pumped from the turbine gearbox into an on-board waste oil tank and fresh oil is then pre-heated and pumped along a separate hose system.

Super-efficient disposal of waste oil and replenishment of the system can be completed shore-side in less than 30 minutes. Alternatively, where vessel load carrying capacity and deck space allows, additional storage capacity can be provided in the form of purpose-built bunded containers which hold an additional 12,000 litres. These can be connected in series with the main STTTM unit allowing several turbines to be serviced without the need to return to shore.

Ship-to-TurbineTM looks likely to set a new benchmark for oil changes in the offshore renewables industry. It is further proof of James Fisher’s committed to continually develop and innovate to drive down operational costs for its clients while at the same time increase efficiency and productivity.

Article Published in Wind Energy Network Magazine May 2015 - http://bit.ly/1GamUJH

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