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ENBW and CWind prove new benchmark for offshore telemetry systems

First use of satellite communication system declared a resounding success at EnBW Baltic 2

EnBW and CWind announced todayat EWEA 2015 in Copenhagen, that their joint implementation of the first satellite communication system in remote management of temporary power supply in the offshore wind industry is passing its test with flying colours. The system is proving a resilient and effective means of supporting offshore construction during this winter period in the Baltic Sea.

If there is a delay in establishing grid connection or a delay in the installation of the substation, power supply still needs to be maintained on site to facilitate the construction phase of offshore wind farms. Remote management of the power supply is crucial the further offshore a wind farm is located, especially if prolonged bad weather prevents access to the site. Knowing that mobile network based communication would not cover its farshore wind farm located 40km off the island of Ruegen, EnBW was looking for an innovative solution, in order to monitor and control the provision of temporary power during construction.

Garvin Bracker, Manager Offshore Construction Project Services Offshore at ENBW, explains: “We knew that satellite based communication has long been used in offshore oil & gas and the maritime sector but nobody had tried it yet in this context in offshore wind. We believed it could provide substantial benefits and when we tendered for the temporary power supply we asked for proposals to include innovative satellite telemetry.”

Earlier in 2014, CWind successfully bid to provide temporary power during the construction of EnBW Baltic 2 and supplied generators equipped with a remote control and monitoring board as well as a satellite communication modem. The modems supplied by CPN Satellite Services in Germany, coupled with CWind’s IT Development Team providing the infrastructure required, allow CWind to transfer all data from the remote board to its databases onshore for monitoring, reporting and management. The two-way communication via the satellite also enables CWind to start and stop machinery in field to proactively manage power supply even during prolonged bad weather periods. As winter weather has arrived in the Baltic Sea, this has become an important means of ensuring construction continues as efficiently as possible even in shorter work windows. Real-time reporting and trend analysis has further enhanced clients’ ability to manage the construction phase across suppliers.

Colin Urquhart, Global Head of Construction at CWind commented on the new communication system: “Remote monitoring of equipment used offshore had not been solved for farshore wind farms and even in nearshore locations we have in the past experienced issues with accuracy and update frequencies. So when we designed the communication solution we proposed to EnBW, we were keen to ensure these issues were removed. Even we did not anticipate the degree to which the availability of reliable real-time data would help our project management in supporting and enabling construction at EnBW Baltic 2.”

“In the past we’ve trialled mobile networks, data relays and other communication systems, we found them to be unreliable and ininefficient  some instances cost prohibitive. The challenge from EnBW to come up with a cost-effective, stable system was the driving force behind the development of our system.”



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