This project involved the detailed development of a prototype ‘winch’ system to provide a means by which it is possible to anchor a single point mooring buoy to the seabed using an energy efficient solar powered hydraulic system.
To reduce the cost of mooring buoy installation and the need to transport and employ specialist lifting equipment.
Offshore mooring buoys are employed all over the world as a means by which crude oil and related products can be loaded/offloaded to/from sea going oil tankers.
To position and anchor the mooring buoy requires the use of offshore heavy lifting equipment which has to be transported by sea to the required location. This equipment can cost up to £500k per day to hire, with a typical hire period of 10-15 days, a typical installation can therefore cost anywhere up to £7.5m.
Hedley worked alongside the customer in the Dubai shipyard where the buoy was manufactured. Hedley developed a specialist hydraulic ‘winch’ system for installation on board the mooring buoy to provide a means by which it is possible to connect and tension the seabed anchor chains to the buoy without the need for any heavy lifting equipment.
A low power hydraulic system was developed that utilised a large bank of hydraulic accumulators to store hydraulic power, this made it possible to utilise the solar power to generate and store a reservoir of high-pressure hydraulic fluid that could be used when needed for the operation of the winch system. Effectively converting sunlight into hydraulic power.
The winch system was fitted to a new mooring buoy during manufacture, the buoy was then successfully installed in offshore Colombia and the winch system operated as required reducing the installation time to 3-days, and without the heavy lifting cost.