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Multi-functional buoy advantage

Multi-functional buoy advantage
Sea currents may have a great impact on safety of navigation and, therefore, it is important to have knowledge about them. The Danish Maritime Authority has developed a model where current measuring equipment is fitted on an ordinary light buoy.

The multi-functional light buoy is more inexpensive and dependable than original current measuring buoys. The solution has been used to supply the Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI) with data on sea current for quite some time, but it can also be a sound package solution for ports or contractors, for example in connection with offshore wind farms, which are to mark a work area.

Measuring sea currents by means of a traditional light buoy has many advantages. Firstly, it is made of iron and is, therefore, much more dependable during the winter than the fragile current measuring buoys made of plastic and fitted with solar panels that are incredibly vulnerable in ice. Secondly, it is a traditional light buoy that has been upgraded, which is considerably cheaper than buying a current measuring buoy. Thirdly, the light buoy is, so to speak, its own aids to navigation and, thus, does not require any additional aids to navigation for its marking. This reduces the operating costs.

The Service and Maintenance Centre in Korsør of the Danish Maritime Authority’s section Aids to Navigation has developed the multi-functional light buoy in co-operation with the DMI. Head of the Centre Jørgen Royal Petersen says:

“Now, it is easy to change an ordinary standard light buoy into a multi-functional light buoy since the concept has been standardized and requires only a few components on the buoy to be replaced.”

Since the experimental stage, the new concept has been used by the DMI, which are so satisfied with the concept that they expect to phase in the new type of light buoys gradually as the old buoys need to be replaced. And Jørgen Royal Petersen is also of the view that the solution can be of interest to others:

“It may be an interesting model for ports, terminals of power stations, oil terminals or contractors which are, for example, establishing an offshore wind farm. They get a package solution where the current measuring device is integrated in the light buoy required to mark the work area. At the same time, it is an inexpensive and solid solution“, says Jørgen Royal Petersen. He ends by adding:

“This is a good example of operations-related experience going hand-in-hand with innovation, product development and economically viable solutions which can also be used by external parties.”


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