CWind launches hybrid Surface Effect Ship

In: Vessels
23/02/2021
CWind, part of the Global Marine Group, has announced the delivery the world’s first hybrid powered Surface Effect Ship (SES), the CWind Pioneer. The Crew Transfer Vessel (CTV) will be used at the Borssele 1&2 offshore wind farms through a long-term charter contract agreement with Ørsted.

Built by Wight Shipyard Company, the vessel features a hybrid diesel and battery electric power system which enables the it to operate purely on battery power while in harbour or at standby in the wind farm, resulting in a decrease in fuel burn and CO2. It has capacity to transport up to 24 passengers.

With surface effect hull form and heave compensation technology, the
CWind Pioneer can operate at speeds exceeding 43.5kts, and can transit and transfer safely in sea states in excess of 1.8m Hs, while minimising motion and acceleration through its air cushion motion control system. CWind stated that this results in a smoother, more comfortable experience for technicians and crew.

CWind claims that at a speed of 43.5kts, the vessel is over 20% more fuel efficient than conventional CTVs running at 24kts on a mile for mile basis. For a typical wind farm situated 30nmi from port, this translates to a reduction of over 110 tonnes of CO2 per vessel, per year, by using the hybrid SES.

Nathanael Allison, Managing Director, CWind said: “The launch of the CWind Pioneer marks a significant milestone for the industry and helps pave the way towards achieving net zero targets. The vessel utilises revolutionary technology to meet the needs of the market and our customers who want a greener, safer, and more efficient Crew Transfer Vessel to support their commercial and green objectives. With the CWind Pioneer we have delivered just that – a new generation of CTVs.”

The Hybrid SES crew transfer vessel was developed in partnership with ESNA, a ship design company based in Kristiansand, Norway. ESNA specialises in low emissions technologies and surface effect ship development, to deliver commercially competitive vessels with significant carbon reductions by design.

Trygve H. Espeland, Naval architect and co-founder of ESNA, said: “We are delighted to see the launch of the CWind Pioneer. She is not only a step-change for the offshore wind industry, but also for the SES design, as she is the first SES with 100% electric air cushion systems, which were both fun and challenging to achieve.

“As a SES, she is reducing emissions by offering low resistance at high speed, and the air cushion motion damping is allowing offshore operations in same wave heights as larger vessels. By choosing a SES you can, therefore, reduce emissions by simply building a smaller vessel for the same job.”


The Hybrid SES propulsion engine delivers sprint speed and extreme bollard push, from its 1,600 kW installed diesel engines, which can be battery boosted up to 1,800 kW.


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