The Application of the Gate Rudder to Small High Speed Craft within the Wind Farm Industry

The Application of the Gate Rudder to Small High Speed Craft within the
Wind Farm Industry

Offshore wind turbine downtime results in a massive loss of the energy supplied to the grid and the annual profit for the investors. When it comes to operation and maintenance (O&M), crew transfer vessels (CTVs) are the most common vessel for transferring crew from shore or a nearby base to the turbines. Due to the much higher rate of minor failures compared to major failures, the use of small CTVs is the most efficient and cost effective option. The main design objectives focus on seakeeping, manoeuvrability on station, crew comfort during transit and a safe transfer of crew from vessel to turbine. The most common hull type for a CTV undertakes the catamaran configuration, but they also include monohull, trimaran and Small Waterplane Area Twin Hull (SWATH) type vessels.

Back in 2015, a new twin rudder system presented as a new category of Energy Saving Device (ESD), today known as the Gate Rudder. A conventional rudder system sees the rudder located directly behind the propeller to make use of the flow. The Gate Rudder on the other hand
comprises of twin rudders position either side of the propeller that can be controlled independently. The rudder sections are asymmetric and cambered in such a way to produce thrust, similar to that found on a ducted propeller. Not only does the Gate Rudder improve propulsive efficiency, but it has also been proven to improve manoeuvrability, seakeeping and
propeller vibration. With the need for only one propeller, multihulls and propulsion systems such as the jet engine may not be necessary to improve the seakeeping and manoeuvrability characteristics. This may bring the attention back to the monohull, which will be more financially
attractive to the wind farm operators regarding capital cost and running cost.

The Gate Rudder has only been applied and tested on large ships until now. This study will investigate the effect the Gate Rudder will have on small high-speed craft as well as demonstrating the impact it may have on the windfarm industry in terms of operation and maintenance strategies.

For more information about the project contact Prof Mehmet Atlar (, Professor at the Department of Naval Architecture, Ocean and Marine Engineering at the University of Strathclyde. 
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