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The European Future of Offshore Wind

On 4 December 2007, over 1,000 representatives of the offshore wind industry, policy makers and energy specialists will gather to explore and discuss the future of offshore wind energy during a three-day pan-European conference dedicated specifically to this promising technology. Organised by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA), the European Offshore Wind Conference and Exhibition (EOW2007) will debate the future of offshore development in Europe.
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{access view=!registered}Only logged in users can view the full text of the article.{/access}{access view=registered}The EOW2007 Conference programme consists of 22 separate sessions with presentations from over 100 leading experts and decision makers. Additionally, over 100 poster presentations will be showcased. In parallel with the conference sessions there will be an exhibition with over 60 of the leading companies involved in offshore wind energy. EOW2007 is the ideal place to examine the technologies, hardware and services that keep the offshore business moving.

An important issue is how to access turbines offshore. Accessing offshore wind turbines is critical to keep all systems running. This is especially true when the weather deteriorates, wind speeds pick up and production can be maximised. But offshore these conditions also mean that wave heights increase and access by boat can become impossible. The Ampelmann has been developed to increase the accessibility from a ship, even in high wave conditions. The system uses six hydraulic cylinders (also used in flight simulators) to support a transfer deck and gangway. By measuring the ship motions continuously and controlling the length of the cylinders, the transfer deck stands completely still compared to the wind turbine. Access to the turbine then becomes 'as easy as crossing the street'. The Ampelmann is a project of Delft University of Technology and is supported by the Dutch government and several companies. After the test phase the Ampelmann will be commercially available through the Ampelmann Company. I went to the press presentation this summer in the Netherlands and was really impressed with the Ampelmann. I am sure the system will help to make offshore wind more beneficial in the future. On page 6 we publish an article about the system.

The November/December issue will be the last issue of this year. Looking back at the first three years of publishing Windtech International we are very pleased with all the responses we have received. I would like to thank all who have participated and supported us. Without your help Windtech International would not have been as successful as it is. We will continue to bring you the latest news with the focus on technology. What will 2008 bring us? Let's see and discuss it next year.

Enjoy reading,

Floris Siteur
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