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Wave Heights and Accessibility


The accessibility by ship to an offshore wind turbine is essentially determined by the wave height. As a rule, weather situations with a significant wave height (Hs) of more than 1.5 metres are referred to as "Weather Days". From then on, the transfer of service personnel from a work ship to the ladder of the offshore installation is too risky. Even with special access systems that can compensate for the ship's movements, access to offshore wind turbines is only possible up to a significant wave height of around 2 metres.

The comparison of the sea state data of Fino 1, Fino 2 and Fino 3 shows the different sea conditions in the North Sea and Baltic Sea for 2018 (following figure) and also over longer observation periods at these stations (following figure). The installation, maintenance and servicing of offshore wind farms in the North Sea poses a greater challenge, combined with reduced accessibility, than in the comparatively calm Baltic Sea.





Distribution of average significant wave heights for FINO 1, FINO 2 and FINO 3 for 2018
Data sources: [FINO- Datenbank]






Distribution of the distribution of average significant wave heights for FINO 1, FINO 2 and FINO 3 for 2004 - 2017

Data source: [FINO- Datenbank]



The annual cycles of the wave measurements for the North Sea (Fino 1) and the Baltic Sea (Fino 2) are shown in the next figure. The lower average wave height in the Baltic Sea is clearly visible again. Due to temporary failure of the measuring system (swell buoy), the data are not completely available. However, for all three locations the lower wave heights in summer are basically recognizable. During this period the operators plan their regular inspections and maintenance activities due to lower wave heights, lower wind speeds and better lighting conditions.





Monthly comparison of the mean significant wave heights in 2018 (Fino 2: 2017) and

on average from 2013-2018 at Fino 1 and Fino 3, Fino 2 from 2013-2017

Data source: [FINO- Datenbank]