September 13, 2018
VIDEO: Damen Performs Tank Testing of New FCS 7011

Damen Shipyards Group has carried out tank testing of its 70-m Fast Crew Supplier (FCS) 7011.

The tests were carried out at the Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) with a 2.8-m long model. Intended for long distance crew transfer operations, the Damen FCS 7011 is to offer the offshore oil and gas industry a safe and cost-effective alternative to helicopter flights.

Onboard Comfort

In developing the FCS 7011, onboard comfort has been one of Damen’s central design parameters. Consequently, the company has executed a large number of simulations to investigate seakeeping characteristics.

'We have used these simulations to see which hull form gives the optimum comfort levels,' explains Albert Rijkens, Damen Product Portfolio Manager Research. 'The aim of the model testing at TU Delft was to validate those numerical results.'

Reduced Slamming

Performing tests at 30 and 40 kn in waves of 2-3 m significant wave height, seakeeping was a major aspect of the testing. The results were positive; the hull design and the application of the Sea Axe bow allows the vessel to reach high speeds through waves while meeting predetermined criteria for comfort levels.

'In fact, what we see is that ship movements become calmer as the speed increases. This is because the forward energy of the vessel allows it to go through the waves, instead of going over them. At the same time the Sea Axe bow shape reduces any uncomfortable slamming that might occur during high speed transits.'

Vessel Resistance

Another aspect of the tank testing was to study vessel resistance at speed. 'Our results showed that, due to its long and narrow hull, the FCS 7011 has relatively low resistance.'

Ride Control System

The tests were also an opportune moment to trial the so-called Ride Control System positioned at the stern of the 1:25 scale model of the FCS 7011. 'This system measures ship movements and based on these signals, it continuously determines the position of the active control mechanisms. The effectiveness of the system – enabling us to improve comfort levels even further – was also validated in these tests.'

New Generation of Crew Change Vessels

With these tests yielding positive results, and further testing planned in this year, Damen is closer to finalising the design of this new vessel. As Mr Rijkens notes, the FCS 7011 marks a significant step for the safe and fast transfers of offshore personnel.

'Offshore oil and gas operators currently use helicopters as their principal method to transfer crews to and from platforms. However, there is a very clear desire from the industry to change the logistical model with the introduction of new generation of crew change vessels.'

The FCS 7011 is set to fills the gap between the current crew change vessels and helicopters. Rijkens: 'It will achieve this by being able to carry up to 150 passengers in business class comfort at speeds of up to 40 knots.'

Watch a video of the tank tests below.