Nekkar ASA (Nekkar) and leading international wind turbine installation player BMS Heavy Cranes have entered into an innovation agreement for the development and testing of the wind turbine installation tool named “SkyWalker”.
“Several of the large international wind turbine manufacturers utilise BMS Heavy Cranes as their preferred wind turbine lifting service partner. To bring such a highly regarded heavy lifting service provider on board as a development partner for SkyWalker is very valuable to us. BMS Heavy Cranes possesses substantial know-how about the strengths and limitations of current heavy lifting and installation methods and the various OEMs’ wind turbine technologies. This knowledge will be used to optimize the SkyWalker design to meet the market needs says Ole Falk Hansen, CEO of Nekkar.
For more than a decade, BMS Heavy Cranes has worked closely with the world’s leading wind turbine manufacturers, erecting and servicing a very large number of onshore and offshore wind turbines. BMS Heavy Cranes offering includes on- and offloading of turbine components, transport of turbine elements to storage, up-end of towers and assembly of towers on tower stands, lifting and erecting full towers to quay side or operation site and transport of nacelles and blades to quay side as well as operation site.
As part of the agreement, BMS Heavy Cranes will contribute to the verification and benchmarking of the SkyWalker installation tool and provide its specialist know-how and technical information regarding logistics and handling. BMS Heavy Cranes will also assess the cost of the SkyWalker solution versus current technologies, and will participate, as Nekkar’s lifting and installation partner, in testing the full-scale prototype and when rolling out the technology to the market.
“We see great potential in this innovative solution for installing wind turbines. When benchmarking SkyWalker against current solutions, we see that the simpler logistics significantly reduce the time needed to install wind turbines. In addition, SkyWalker’s controlled lift allows a greater weather window for installation. We are asked by our customers to provide lifting solutions for increasingly higher wind turbines, so we look forward to working with Nekkar to develop SkyWalker and realise this potentially disruptive wind turbine installation tool,” says Jesper Hansen, CSO at BMS Heavy Cranes.
The SkyWalker wind turbine installation tool aims to significantly reduce the time, cost and environmental footprint associated with wind turbine installations.
SkyWalker uses active heave compensation derived from offshore lifting systems combined with digital solutions that allow for remote-controlled and automated solutions. This enables a controlled lift that can operate heavier loads and reach larger heights than current crane solutions, and the ability to operate in stronger winds.
In addition, SkyWalker reduces the environmental impact of installing wind turbines by considerably reducing the footprint in nature and CO2 emissions from transportation. This can also enable installation of wind turbines at locations where it currently is not practically or financially viable to develop wind farms.
Last year, Nekkar was awarded a NOK 21.5 million grant from Innovation Norway to develop the SkyWalker wind turbine installation tool.
The foundation of Nekkar's business is world-class engineering, electrification, automation, and digitalisation competence and heritage from the drilling industry in Kristiansand which is the DNA in the company's digital solutions business area. Nekkar aims to apply this competence as levers to develop disruptive technologies that can make high-growth industry sectors - such as renewable energy - even more sustainable, productive, and profitable.