UNIIQ invests in Tetrahedron’s innovative crane for next-gen wind turbines
The Rotterdam-based start-up Tetrahedron has developed an innovative crane that makes existing jack-up rigs suited for installing this next generation of offshore wind turbines, Port of Rotterdam said in its release. To help the firm further develop its innovation, UNIIQ has awarded Tetrahedron an investment from its proof-of-concept fund. The investment was announced by Vice Mayor Arjan van Gils (Finance, Organisation, Port and Large Projects) during the PortXL Selection Days in Rotterdam.
Offshore wind power is expected to grow in leaps and bounds over the next decades. To satisfy the strong demand for wind power, the new wind turbines installed out at sea are rapidly increasing in size. In the near future, the current self-elevating turbine installation vessels, or jack-up rigs, will no longer be able to raise themselves high enough to reach the uppermost parts of these structures. The Rotterdam-based firm Tetrahedron is developing an innovative crane that makes existing jack-up rigs suited for installing the coming generations of 10-20MW wind turbines out on the water.
The owners of today’s jack-up rigs are working hard to find new solutions for upgrading their vessels so they can lift higher. Only then can they remain relevant: if they don’t adapt to the current scaling-up in offshore wind power, the sector may not have any use for their jack-ups in a few years’ time.
However, the current upgrade options come with certain limitations. They make the cranes heavier – which reduces lift capacity. And when a jack-up is moving to the work site, the crane needs to be lowered to a horizontal position. It is not allowed to be (too much) longer than the vessel itself. This, too, poses a challenge for the existing upgrade options.
The innovation incorporated in Tetrahedron’s unique design upgrades the existing crane in terms of lift height without sacrificing lift capacity. Furthermore, the crane isn’t longer than before when horizontal, meaning that it still fits on the jack-up rig while the vessel is underway.
Tetrahedron will be using the UNIIQ investment to further develop the crane and take the steps required for certification.