Skip to main content



Tuesday, August 3, 2021 

Bureau Veritas (BV) has classified the first hybrid-powered Surface Effect Ship (SES), the 'CWind Pioneer' wind farm service vessel, which features an air cushion, twin hulls and an innovative diesel and electric drivetrain with battery storage onboard.

CWind is a provider of project services, crew transfer vessels (CTVs), and training for the offshore wind industry. With a capacity of 24 passengers, the CWind Pioneer is a direct response to the needs of the offshore wind industry for innovative technologies that reduce CO2 emissions and provide cost-effective services to windfarms located further offshore. The CWind Pioneer can operate at speeds exceeding 43 kts, and can transfer personnel safely and comfortably even in extreme weather conditions with significant wave heights up to 2m, permitting greater operational windows.

Its air cushion motion control system provides smoother and more comfortable conditions on-board and increased operational days offshore. The CWind Pioneer is being used at the Borssele 1 and 2 offshore wind farms in the Netherlands.

The vessel can operate purely on battery power alongside or at slow speeds, such as when transiting restricted waterways or on standby in the windfarm, which helps reduce fuel consumption, reduce engine running hours and cut CO2 emissions. The Electric Hybrid technology reduces engine wear and consequently maintenance costs. However, the system implementation comes with a good level of complexity that needs to be managed carefully. BV’s notation ‘Electric-Hybrid’ addresses this, defining requirements for storage, power distribution, control and instrumentation, as well as tests that must be carried out relating to power management and critical safety considerations, such as thermal runaway.

Herman Spilker, BV VP North Europe, said: “Through the diversity of our fleet, Bureau Veritas has built high technical expertise which help support the development of the CWind Pioneer’s step-change design and eco-friendly operations. We are proud of this superb achievement and we wish its technicians and crew safe and comfortable sailing.”

Nathanael Allison, CWind MD said: “The success of the CWind Pioneer was achieved through years of research and development, resulting in the fastest, safest and most fuel-efficient CTV on the market. By working together with industry bodies, including Bureau Veritas, our clients, Ørsted, and a range of highly qualified naval architects, shipbuilders and marine engineers, including our in-house team, we have managed to achieve something truly exceptional. As the CWind Pioneer continues to perform well in-field, we will also be able to track a wealth of data to adapt and improve the performance of our hybrid vessels in the future.”

BV was involved with the project from its early design stages, involving close cooperation with Norwegian Naval Architecture company ESNA, and builders Wight Shipyard. In order to ensure that CWind Pioneer can take full advantage of the Electric Hybrid technology in a safe manner, BV has assigned the notation Electric Hybrid (PM, ZE), which provides a comprehensive framework for the safe implementation of this technology while achieving the client’s objectives of working at zero-emission mode and enhancing speed performance.

Reader Comments (0)

There are currently no comments on this article. Why not be the first and leave your thoughts below.

Leave Your Comment

Please keep your comment on topic, any inappropriate comments may be removed.

Return to index