100% oil-free air compressors protect marine life with bubble curtain

September 29, 2016

Antwerp, Belgium, September 29, 2016 - During installation of wind farms at sea, marine life has to be taken into account: the fragile fauna can experience nuisance during piling. Seaway Heavy Lifting contacted Atlas Copco Rental to deliver 100% oil-free compressed air to create a noise reducing bubble curtain during projects in the North Sea.

Wind farms Dantysk and Sandbank are located 80 km off the German shore in the North Sea. They can deliver 576 megawatt: enough energy for about 80,000 households. With the crane vessel ‘Stanislav Yudin’, Seaway Heavy Lifting, a company specialized in installation and deconstruction of offshore platforms and wind farms, took care of both farms.


Bubble curtain to decrease noise level

The sound released during construction of offshore wind foundations is five times higher underwater than in open air. Sea mammals experience nuisance that can result in deafness or disorientation. Governments demand measures against these high noise levels to protect sea life. Seaway Heavy Lifting chose to reduce the sound level by means of a bubble curtain, created thanks to 100% oil-free compressed air supplied by Atlas Copco Rental.


100% oil-free compressors to deliver the requested capacity


To make sure the bubble curtains work efficiently, the capacity needed to be calculated upfront. For both projects a different pressure was required. We therefore created two different set-ups” explains Frank van den Heiligenberg, sales engineer Oil & Gas, Atlas Copco Rental Netherlands “A total flow of approximately 480m3/min with 10,3 bar max was needed for the Sandbank project where we used 13 PTS 1600 oil-free compressors. After the successful completion of this project, some of the compressors were transferred to the DanTysk project. The bubble curtain there required a higher capacity, so we used 5 PTS 1600 together with 13 PNS 1250 oil-free compressors for higher pressure creating a total flow of approximately 627 m3/min at 25 bar max.


Seaway Heavy Lifting sets high safety standards

Safety and reliability of our equipment is of utmost importance,” continues van den Heiligenberg. “All compressors, frames and hoses are certified. The compressors are put in special DNV 2.7-1 certified offshore lifting frames. With their custom-made chassis, they can easily be bolted on deck.


Offshore you need certainty that all compressors deliver the requested capacity. That is why all compressors were subject to a functional acceptance test to check if they can actually deliver the correct pressure and flow.


A few days later the compressors with all accessories were transported to Germany. An Atlas Copco Rental service engineer was 24/7 onboard for assistance, making sure the equipment performed as expected during the entire project.


Logistical challenge successful

“Logistically this project was a challenge for both companies. Its success is for sure thanks to the intensive preparation and cooperation with each other.”

Frits van Dorst, project engineer at Seaway Heavy Lifting

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Atlas Copco is a world-leading provider of sustainable productivity solutions. The Group serves customers with innovative compressors, vacuum solutions and air treatment systems, construction and mining equipment, power tools and assembly systems. Atlas Copco develops products and services focused on productivity, energy efficiency, safety and ergonomics. The company was founded in 1873, is based in Stockholm, Sweden, and has a global reach spanning more than 180 countries. In 2015, Atlas Copco had revenues of BSEK 102 (BEUR 11) and more than 43 000 employees. Learn more at www.atlascopcogroup.com.


Specialty Rental is a division within Atlas Copco’s Construction Technique business area. It serves customers in the industry segments around the world with temporary air and power rental solutions. The specialty rental services are offered under several brands. The divisional headquarters is located in Houston, USA.