Renewable energy systems consistently pay for themselves in situations where they’re substituted for new extensions of the power grid. This is apparent in off-grid homes or solar-powered bus stops (as have been presented in this product section). A new collaboration between three companies applies this concept to offshore drilling platforms out on the harsh, high seas. Here, a “Trident” platform displays a hybrid solar and power arrangement that supplies a steady 1.2 kW of power through two wind turbines and 50 square meters of solar PV. This eliminates the need for costly power cables in the ocean or generator fuel shipments. Keep reading below for the company’s PR.Shell (UK) in cooperation with Tss4U (NL), Orga (NL) and Proven Engineering (UK) developed the solar/wind hybrid power system for the “Trident” platforms. Tss4U and Orga, both from The Netherlands, supplied the zone 1 explosion-proof certified solar power package, and Proven Engineering Ltd. from Scotland supplied the wind turbine package. After a pilot project the systems for the first two platforms were supplied in June 2005. The development of the Shell ‘Trident’ platform concept has reduced the platform facilities and utilities to the bare necessity, which also resulted in a substantial decrease in electrical power demand. The power demand of a Trident platform is now limited to a total continuous load of approximately 1.2 kW. This power was to date supplied by subsea cable. The solar/wind hybrid renewable energy (RE) project was initiated to explore the potential for future Capex reductions. The installed cost for the hybrid renewable power supply is about GBP 200,000, compared with about GBP 1-2 million for a subsea cable. In this project, solar panels and wind turbines are chosen to provide the renewable energy due to the maturity and proven technology. The other reason is the complementary output provided by these two forms of energy under seasonal variation in weather conditions. The solar panel plays a major role in recharging the battery in the summer months when the output from the wind turbine is at the lowest and vice versa during the winter months. The scope of the solar/wind hybrid power system for a continuous 1.2 kW power demand in a hazardous area zone 1 offshore environment consists of: – Two 2.5 kW Wind Turbines – 50 square meters of Solar Panels – 7000 Ah Battery storage – Associated charge control and data monitoring systems To minimize offshore installation/commissioning work, all equipment on the upper deck is installed on skid frames which can be lifted totally from the platform for eventual exchange with a spare system. All the equipment performance data is stored in a data-logger and can be viewed onshore via Ethernet/telecom. To minimize visits to the platform the data-logger can be checked for past and actual performance of the RE system in order to schedule the required maintenance on the platform.