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Displaying items by tag: Thunder Child II

The arrival of Thunderchild II into Dun Laoghaire Harbour on Friday gave rise to speculation that a Dublin powerboat record attempt might be on the cards this weekend, given the 80–mph Zero Dark RIB was also berthed at the town marina.

Both vessels have set separate Cork Fastnet Cork speed UIM record times, and it is understood both have an appetite to set further record times off the Irish coast. The latest time was set last month, as Afloat reported here.

On this occasion, though, it transpires the Frank Kowalski skippered Thunderchild was simply on her way home to Cork Harbour from a voyage to Iceland and had merely stopped off for a refuel at Ireland's biggest marina.

However, John Ryan's Zero Dark RIB may yet have her eye on some UIM record times while based in the capital's waters.

The high-speed RIB has been out Dublin Bay clocking up some impressive speeds over the past two weekends.

More news on any record attempt as we have it.

Thunderchild IIThunderchild II off Cork Photo: Bob Bateman 

Continuing their Arctic adventures, the crew of Safehaven Marine’s Thunder Child II followed Saturday’s 200nm cruise from Reykjavik to Ísafjörður in Iceland’s far north-west with a 400nm crossing of the Denmark Strait to East Greenland.

“We managed to get some 30nm from the Blosseville Coast, but running through very heavy fog for 40 miles and navigating through drift ice with zero visibility was extremely challenging and somewhat dangerous,” the team commented on social media.

“During the journey we found some wonderful icebergs off the Greenland waters and managed to fly the drone capturing some epic footage.”

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the state-of-the-art powerboat set a new record time (verification pending) for the crossing from Ireland to Iceland in under 32 hours at the weekend.

Published in Safehaven Marine

Safehaven Marine reports that Thunder Child II and crew have successfully achieved their world record attempt from Ireland to Iceland.

The XSV20’s sub-32-hour time over the 1,500km from Killybegs to Reykjavík is pending ratification by UIM but is already vindication of its state-of-the-art powerboat’s wave-piercing design.

The crew report today (Friday 9 July) that “the hardest leg was the North Atlantic where we were punching a head sea swell all the way”.

Tomorrow, Saturday 10 July, Thunder Child II will continue its voyage north, above the Arctic Circle, to the ultimate destination of East Greenland.

 

Published in Safehaven Marine

Safehaven Marine’s Frank Kowalski and the crew of Thunder Child II are setting off in the early hours tomorrow morning (Thursday 8 July) for their attempt to set a new speed record from Ireland to Iceland.

“It’s always a bit of a gamble with the weather, especially over a distance of 1,500 kilometres,” the team commented on social media. “We might get better if we wait, but then again we might not!”

“However as the forecast is also fair above the Arctic Circle and East Greenland, our ultimate destination, and sea ice is now clear south of Scoresby Sund, [so] we decided to have a go.”

The Thunder Child II crew, from left: engineer Robert Guzik, navigator Ciaran Monks, skipper Frank Kowalski, drone pilot Carl Randalls and Mary Power, logisticsThe Thunder Child II crew, from left: engineer Robert Guzik, navigator Ciaran Monks, skipper Frank Kowalski, drone pilot Carl Randalls and Mary Power, logistics

Thunder Child II’s record-seeking ambitions were first mooted nearly three years ago, months before the launch of the XSV20 powerboat with its specially designed wave-piercing hull.

Follow the team on their voyage from 3am tomorrow at the dedicated SafeTrx tracking page HERE.

Published in Safehaven Marine

Safehaven Marine has released video of sea trials during a recent unseasonal storm which produced some pretty rough conditions at the entrance to Cork Harbour.

The Cork-based performance boatbuilders managed to capture some impressive footage of Thunder Child II and the new Barracuda SV125 on the day.

The Barracuda was commissioned for Future Defence in the USA and is designed for search and rescue as well as coastal patrol duties.

The vessel is fully self-righting, able to recover if capsized by a large breaking sea and capable of all-weather operations.

Its design features a deep ‘V’ hull with midships and transom deadrise of 24 degrees and a wave-piercing bow of 65 degrees giving excellent head sea capabilities.

A wide 4m beam ensures high levels of stability in big beam seas and excellent dynamic stability in following seas. A twin chine arrangement ensures a very dry ride.

Powered by a pair of Caterpillar C8.7 650hp engines, ZF 380 two speed gearboxes with SD3L surface drive propulsion by France Helices, the Barracuda has a maximum speed of 43 knots and a cruise speed of 32 knots at 70% of max power.

At this speed each engine is consuming just 69 litres per hour, giving a 600nm range from the vessel’s long-range fuel tanks.

For much more on the new Barracuda, see the Safehaven Marine website HERE.

Published in Safehaven Marine

Safehaven Marine put Thunder Child II to the test against the might of Storm Brendan yesterday — showing just how well the wave-piercing powerboat can handle the roughest elements at sea.

Sea trials for the XSV20 design began a year ago but had taken a backseat to the successful Cork boatbuilder’s commissions for port and harbour vessels — an enviable situation which nevertheless saw the planned North Atlantic Challenge that had been scheduled for last summer moved to this year.

Thunder Child II has been developed in mind of setting a new west-east transatlantic world record, and a proposed route has been plotted from St John’s in Newfoundland, via Greenland and Iceland, to Killybegs on Ireland’s West Coast.

Published in Safehaven Marine

There was something about the look of the reverse stem of Safehaven Marine’s new 70ft Transatlantic record-seeker Thunder Child II in Afloat.ie this week which stirred a hidden memory of ships and speed writes W M Nixon. And then it clicked. Suddenly, we were transported back to the heady days of the 1890s, a Golden Age of engine invention. The memory was of Charles A Parsons of Birr, and his new steam turbine powered speedster Turbinia.

But apart from both having a reverse stem, the only other shared features of Turbinia and Thunder Child II are their quest for speed, and their links to Ireland. Thunder Child’s shape is a fascinating, inventive and exhaustively tank-tested mixture of mono-hull and catamaran, while Turbinia by contrast is a hundred feet of miniature naval destroyer, long and skinny with quite heavy displacement.

Thunder Child II 2Thunder Child II – “a fascinating, inventive and exhaustively tank-tested mixture of mono-hull and catamaran” Photo Safehaven Marine

Her creator was Charles A Parsons (1854-1931). The Parsons of Birr Castle were a very inventive and engineering-minded family, as anyone who has seen the mighty telescope at the castle will know. So although young Charles was educated at home, his tutors included some noted engineers, and after he’d dutifully done his time at Trinity College Dublin, he took the unusual step – for someone from his background - of signing up as an apprentice in what was then the engineering invention hotbed of the northeast of Englan

turbinia and mauretania3The commercial breakthrough – the tiny Turbinia alongside the new ocean liner Mauretania in 1906. Although the Royal Navy had started to use steam turbine power soon after Turbinia’s dramatic debut at the Fleet Review of 1897, it took a few years before Mauretania appeared as the first steam turbine-powered commercial vessel.

In due course in 1889, he and five partners established C A Parsons & Co to develop and demonstrate his invention of the compound steam turbine. From this emerged the Parsons Marine Steam Turbine Company in Newcastle, which commissioned the building of the Turbinia in 1894. It took several experiments with propeller designs and configurations before they felt they were getting the best out of the little ship, but it was time well spent, for in 1897 the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria saw the cream of the Royal Navy (a huge fleet in those days) assembled off Spithead for a formal review. The Turbinia – uninvited - came up and down through their serried ranks at a speed of 34 knots, much faster than any other ship of the time. The future of steam turbine marine power was assured.

These days, you can see the restored hull of the Turbinia in the Discovery Museum in Newcastle-on-Tyne, while her engine is in the Science Museum in London. As to where Thunder Child II will be in 125 years’ time – well, that’s anyone’s guess. 

turbinia in museumTurbinia’s hull on display in the Discovery Museum in Newcastle-on-Tyne

Published in Safehaven Marine
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This past weekend saw the successful launch in Cork of Thunder Child II, the next-generation wave-piercing monohull from Safehaven Marine designed to set a new powerboat world record.

Crafted at Safehaven’s boatyard in Youghal, the XSV20 cruised into East Ferry Marina in Cork Harbour yesterday after its first few hours on the water.

And it’s expected it will soon begin rigorous sea trials ahead of Safehaven MD Frank Kowalski’s attempt to set a ‘northern route’ speed record across the Atlantic later this year.

Published in Safehaven Marine
Tagged under

Thunder Child II is finally taking shape at Cork-based performance boatbuilders Safehaven Marine, with “another couple of more months” go before launch for sea trials in the New Year.

As previously noted on Afoat.ie, the XSV20 design developed over the past year crosses a wave-piercing monohull with a catamaran and is optimised for cutting through 4,000km of Atlantic sea with the aim of setting a new powerboat world record.

Safehaven Marine — with its design HQ in Cork Harbour and boatbuilding yard in Youghal — is also busy with its pilot boat commissions, the latest coming from Puerto Rico.

Published in Safehaven Marine

Ireland's Offshore Renewable Energy

Because of Ireland's location at the Atlantic edge of the EU, it has more offshore energy potential than most other countries in Europe. The conditions are suitable for the development of the full range of current offshore renewable energy technologies.

Offshore Renewable Energy FAQs

Offshore renewable energy draws on the natural energy provided by wind, wave and tide to convert it into electricity for industry and domestic consumption.

Offshore wind is the most advanced technology, using fixed wind turbines in coastal areas, while floating wind is a developing technology more suited to deeper water. In 2018, offshore wind provided a tiny fraction of global electricity supply, but it is set to expand strongly in the coming decades into a USD 1 trillion business, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). It says that turbines are growing in size and in power capacity, which in turn is "delivering major performance and cost improvements for offshore wind farms".

The global offshore wind market grew nearly 30% per year between 2010 and 2018, according to the IEA, due to rapid technology improvements, It calculated that about 150 new offshore wind projects are in active development around the world. Europe in particular has fostered the technology's development, led by Britain, Germany and Denmark, but China added more capacity than any other country in 2018.

A report for the Irish Wind Energy Assocation (IWEA) by the Carbon Trust – a British government-backed limited company established to accelerate Britain's move to a low carbon economy - says there are currently 14 fixed-bottom wind energy projects, four floating wind projects and one project that has yet to choose a technology at some stage of development in Irish waters. Some of these projects are aiming to build before 2030 to contribute to the 5GW target set by the Irish government, and others are expected to build after 2030. These projects have to secure planning permission, obtain a grid connection and also be successful in a competitive auction in the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS).

The electricity generated by each turbine is collected by an offshore electricity substation located within the wind farm. Seabed cables connect the offshore substation to an onshore substation on the coast. These cables transport the electricity to land from where it will be used to power homes, farms and businesses around Ireland. The offshore developer works with EirGrid, which operates the national grid, to identify how best to do this and where exactly on the grid the project should connect.

The new Marine Planning and Development Management Bill will create a new streamlined system for planning permission for activity or infrastructure in Irish waters or on the seabed, including offshore wind farms. It is due to be published before the end of 2020 and enacted in 2021.

There are a number of companies aiming to develop offshore wind energy off the Irish coast and some of the larger ones would be ESB, SSE Renewables, Energia, Statkraft and RWE.

There are a number of companies aiming to develop offshore wind energy off the Irish coast and some of the larger ones would be ESB, SSE Renewables, Energia, Statkraft and RWE. Is there scope for community involvement in offshore wind? The IWEA says that from the early stages of a project, the wind farm developer "should be engaging with the local community to inform them about the project, answer their questions and listen to their concerns". It says this provides the community with "the opportunity to work with the developer to help shape the final layout and design of the project". Listening to fishing industry concerns, and how fishermen may be affected by survey works, construction and eventual operation of a project is "of particular concern to developers", the IWEA says. It says there will also be a community benefit fund put in place for each project. It says the final details of this will be addressed in the design of the RESS (see below) for offshore wind but it has the potential to be "tens of millions of euro over the 15 years of the RESS contract". The Government is also considering the possibility that communities will be enabled to invest in offshore wind farms though there is "no clarity yet on how this would work", the IWEA says.

Based on current plans, it would amount to around 12 GW of offshore wind energy. However, the IWEA points out that is unlikely that all of the projects planned will be completed. The industry says there is even more significant potential for floating offshore wind off Ireland's west coast and the Programme for Government contains a commitment to develop a long-term plan for at least 30 GW of floating offshore wind in our deeper waters.

There are many different models of turbines. The larger a turbine, the more efficient it is in producing electricity at a good price. In choosing a turbine model the developer will be conscious of this ,but also has to be aware the impact of the turbine on the environment, marine life, biodiversity and visual impact. As a broad rule an offshore wind turbine will have a tip-height of between 165m and 215m tall. However, turbine technology is evolving at a rapid rate with larger more efficient turbines anticipated on the market in the coming years.

 

The Renewable Electricity Support Scheme is designed to support the development of renewable energy projects in Ireland. Under the scheme wind farms and solar farms compete against each other in an auction with the projects which offer power at the lowest price awarded contracts. These contracts provide them with a guaranteed price for their power for 15 years. If they obtain a better price for their electricity on the wholesale market they must return the difference to the consumer.

Yes. The first auction for offshore renewable energy projects is expected to take place in late 2021.

Cost is one difference, and technology is another. Floating wind farm technology is relatively new, but allows use of deeper water. Ireland's 50-metre contour line is the limit for traditional bottom-fixed wind farms, and it is also very close to population centres, which makes visibility of large turbines an issue - hence the attraction of floating structures Do offshore wind farms pose a navigational hazard to shipping? Inshore fishermen do have valid concerns. One of the first steps in identifying a site as a potential location for an offshore wind farm is to identify and assess the level of existing marine activity in the area and this particularly includes shipping. The National Marine Planning Framework aims to create, for the first time, a plan to balance the various kinds of offshore activity with the protection of the Irish marine environment. This is expected to be published before the end of 2020, and will set out clearly where is suitable for offshore renewable energy development and where it is not - due, for example, to shipping movements and safe navigation.

YEnvironmental organisations are concerned about the impact of turbines on bird populations, particularly migrating birds. A Danish scientific study published in 2019 found evidence that larger birds were tending to avoid turbine blades, but said it didn't have sufficient evidence for smaller birds – and cautioned that the cumulative effect of farms could still have an impact on bird movements. A full environmental impact assessment has to be carried out before a developer can apply for planning permission to develop an offshore wind farm. This would include desk-based studies as well as extensive surveys of the population and movements of birds and marine mammals, as well as fish and seabed habitats. If a potential environmental impact is identified the developer must, as part of the planning application, show how the project will be designed in such a way as to avoid the impact or to mitigate against it.

A typical 500 MW offshore wind farm would require an operations and maintenance base which would be on the nearby coast. Such a project would generally create between 80-100 fulltime jobs, according to the IWEA. There would also be a substantial increase to in-direct employment and associated socio-economic benefit to the surrounding area where the operation and maintenance hub is located.

The recent Carbon Trust report for the IWEA, entitled Harnessing our potential, identified significant skills shortages for offshore wind in Ireland across the areas of engineering financial services and logistics. The IWEA says that as Ireland is a relatively new entrant to the offshore wind market, there are "opportunities to develop and implement strategies to address the skills shortages for delivering offshore wind and for Ireland to be a net exporter of human capital and skills to the highly competitive global offshore wind supply chain". Offshore wind requires a diverse workforce with jobs in both transferable (for example from the oil and gas sector) and specialist disciplines across apprenticeships and higher education. IWEA have a training network called the Green Tech Skillnet that facilitates training and networking opportunities in the renewable energy sector.

It is expected that developing the 3.5 GW of offshore wind energy identified in the Government's Climate Action Plan would create around 2,500 jobs in construction and development and around 700 permanent operations and maintenance jobs. The Programme for Government published in 2020 has an enhanced target of 5 GW of offshore wind which would create even more employment. The industry says that in the initial stages, the development of offshore wind energy would create employment in conducting environmental surveys, community engagement and development applications for planning. As a site moves to construction, people with backgrounds in various types of engineering, marine construction and marine transport would be recruited. Once the site is up and running , a project requires a team of turbine technicians, engineers and administrators to ensure the wind farm is fully and properly maintained, as well as crew for the crew transfer vessels transporting workers from shore to the turbines.

The IEA says that today's offshore wind market "doesn't even come close to tapping the full potential – with high-quality resources available in most major markets". It estimates that offshore wind has the potential to generate more than 420 000 Terawatt hours per year (TWh/yr) worldwide – as in more than 18 times the current global electricity demand. One Terawatt is 114 megawatts, and to put it in context, Scotland it has a population a little over 5 million and requires 25 TWh/yr of electrical energy.

Not as advanced as wind, with anchoring a big challenge – given that the most effective wave energy has to be in the most energetic locations, such as the Irish west coast. Britain, Ireland and Portugal are regarded as most advanced in developing wave energy technology. The prize is significant, the industry says, as there are forecasts that varying between 4000TWh/yr to 29500TWh/yr. Europe consumes around 3000TWh/year.

The industry has two main umbrella organisations – the Irish Wind Energy Association, which represents both onshore and offshore wind, and the Marine Renewables Industry Association, which focuses on all types of renewable in the marine environment.

©Afloat 2020

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