QTrencher 1600 and 48Te A-Frame Delivered to Van Oord Commences First Job

August 8, 2018

Soil Machine Dynamics Ltd (SMD) are pleased to announce that the QTrencher 1600 and its associated deck equipment package delivered in April 2018 to Van Oord, has commenced its first job at Borkum-2 wind farm.

Van Oord’s deck equipment for the QT1600, Dig-It, included a 48Te launch and recovery system (LARS) with A-Frame, cursor docking head, umbilical winch with snatch limiter and hydraulic power unit ensuring safe and reliable deployment of the QTrencher 1600 in higher sea states.

Paul Hatchett, Managing Director SMD Deck Equipment comments, “SMD have been delivering safe and reliable launch and recovery and cable handling equipment for over 35 years, and we have used our expertise to deliver a Lloyds Register approved system to our new customer, Van Oord. We have designed this LARS to offer flexibility and ease of maintenance to our customer. The compact design means that Van Oord are not restricted on the layout of their vessel, with the system being compact enough for operation across the beam and over the stern. Together with SMD’s QTrencher 1600 Van Oord will be able to increase their operational window, working in conditions up to sea state 6.”

The deck equipment comes equipped with a state-of-the-art cursor launch system which allows high sea state deployment using the lift winch. SMD’s cursor launch system protects the vehicle’s umbilical and ensures operational loads are within safety factors at all times, even when the air weight of the vehicle exceeds the safe working load of the umbilical.

Furthermore, the integration of the snatch limiting device means the system is able to handle transitions through the splash zone, from heavy-in-air to light-in-water without transferring shock loads to the umbilical. This function prevents the umbilical from becoming overloaded, and also handles slack umbilical to prevent damage during vehicle recovery which can be caused by vessel motion in high sea states.

The QT1600, Dig-It, has commenced cable installation work which should be finished in July 2018. Once completed in 2019, the Borkum-2 offshore wind farm will deliver green energy to an equivalent of 460,000 households. The offshore wind farm is located 54 kilometres off the coast of Lower Saxony, Germany.

General Trenching Deck Equipment

Plough for Sale or Lease

November 3, 2016

April 2016: SMD have acquired a Heavy Duty Multi-Depth Plough HD-200 which is now available for sale or lease. This is one of the first offerings of SMD’s new Services division which is focused on making it easier for customers to purchase, own, maintain, upgrade and repurpose SMD assets.

The HD-200 is a 1500m rated plough with 300kW jetting, surface control system and umbilical winch, cable and spares.

The equipment was delivered in 2013 and put immediately into service, completing a long ploughing campaign on the Polar Prince, at the Gwynt y MÙr wind farm for RWE Innogy. The equipment was then de-mobilised in early 2015 and is currently at SMD Works in Wallsend, UK.

The asset has understandable wear to the ground engaging parts. The control system, umbilical winch and cable are in excellent condition. The plough is available in its original configuration needing only minor refurbishment for as-new condition.

Options are available to re-purpose the plough for suitability to the submarine telecommunication cable market, and also for protection of medium to large size power cables. Support from SMD is experienced six man operating crew is also available.

The equipment will be supplied after a full workshop test program and with SMD is Original Equipment Manufacturers warranty. A full spares package is included.

The equipment is available for outright purchase, or for lease with an option for outright purchase, and is available ex-works Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.

Re-purpose options have a delivery time 12 to 26 weeks depending on final specifications. Lead time on the refurbishment only option is 6 weeks.

General

SMD to Contribute to Offshore Wind Foundations Research Project

November 2, 2016

September 2015: SMD are pleased to announce that they are set to contribute to a major offshore wind research project lead by The University of Dundee. The project will look to determine whether cheaper, more environmentally friendly and more effective foundations can be developed for the offshore renewables industry.

The project, funded by a £1million grant from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, will look at the use of screw piles for offshore installations. These are foundations which are screwed into the ground and currently widely used onshore, for example, to support motorway signs and gantries.

Currently, the main foundation solutions being considered for offshore wind installations are driven piles, large monopiles or concrete gravity-based structures (GBS). Driving of piles in large numbers offshore causes concerns over plant availability and impact on mariScrew fas e mammals. There are also concerns over the limit of practical monopile development and the high material demands of GBS. Screw piles have the potential to overcome these issues and are scalable for future development from current onshore systems which have relatively low noise installation and are efficient in terms of both tensile and compressive capacity.

The research has the potential to make it easier to deploy screw pile foundations for offshore renewables. This project will develop foundations able to deal with current water depths and will provide understanding of the behaviour of piles as water depths and the demands on the foundations increase.

“The UK has challenging targets for expansion of energy from renewables with the potential for over 5000 offshore wind turbines by 2020,” said Dr Mike Brown, Senior Lecturer in Civil Engineering at the University of Dundee who is leading the project.

“The necessary move to deeper water will increase cost and put greater demands on subsea structures and foundations. There is already cost pressure on the offshore sector as people wait to see if it can be made more affordable, so we really need to find better solutions for how we develop capacity.

“Screw piles are potentially very attractive as a lower cost and more environmentally friendly option. However, there are significant challenges to be addressed. If we are to develop them for offshore use they will likely be larger than those used onshore, and face different pressures, so our work will look at whether they can meet the performance and efficiency issues.

“By harnessing the installation and performance benefits of screw pile/anchor technology, the results of the project will hopefully contribute to an overall cost reduction in electricity generated by renewable means and increase the public’s confidence in the future viability of this energy source,” said Dr Brown.

“We have a long-history of supporting industrial academic partnerships, said SMD’s Ian Bryan, Business Development Manager for their Trenching, Mining and Renewables business unit.  “Much of intellectual property and many of our product features originate from research, and our customers benefit from the insights these bring into design of efficient and effective solutions. When compared to piling, screw piles offers significant potential benefits such as a reduction in noise during installation and lower costs. We look forward to developing an understanding of how this well proven approach can be adapted at scale for use in the construction of offshore wind farms, and to passing the associated benefits on to our customers.”

The project will also include contributions from the Universities of Durham and Southampton and also private sector partners Cathie Associates Ltd, Screwfast Foundations Ltd, and SeaRoc Group.

General