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2013 GSDAA Finalist: Controlling a Hydraulic Motion Compensated Gangway to Improve Access to Offshore Wind Turbines

2013 Advanced Control Systems Finalist
Controlling a Hydraulic Motion Compensated Gangway to Improve Access to Offshore Wind Turbines 

Author: Andrew Clegg, Industrial Systems and Control Ltd.

Challenge: Creating a system to safely transfer personnel and equipment to and from offshore wind turbines in rolling seas and bad weather.

Solution: Using NI LabVIEW and NI CompactRIO to develop a movable gangway with an algorithm that computes the inverse kinematics of the gangway tip using measured boat motions to provide the required hydraulic cylinder lengths to maintain its position.

Advanced Control Systems - Wind Turbines.jpg

To vote for this submission for the 2013 GSDAA Community's Choice Award Winner, "Like" this document. Click on the "Like" symbol in the bottom right corner of this window.
To read the entire paper for this submission, download and view the PDF attachment on this document.

>> Learn more about the Graphical System Design Achievement Awards.

Member AndyClegg

Since this Case Study was completed we have had sea trials - and things went very well.

Here's a little video clip showing the stabilisation of the gangway in relatively heavy seas. If the waves get much bigger than this, it is beyond what the mechanism can cope with and the system does not allow operation. From some of the camera angles it looks like the gangway is clamped to the turbine tower - I can assure you it isn't and its all done by control. Enjoy.

Consultant Control Engineer
Member Christina.Hadly

Hi Andy,

This video is awesome, thanks for sharing. I'm glad to see the sea trials went well.

I work at NI on the team putting together the GSDAAs. If you'd like, you can send me the original file for this video and we'll include it in the presentation for the GSDAA ceremony. You can email it to me at



Member AndyClegg

Christina - Thanks.

I have provided the video to some NI staff members who said they were doing the presentation for this (Jamie Lynn Robitaille and Kate Amos). I hope they got it ok. The actual video I have is higher resolution, so quite large - I sent it as link to it on dropbox file sharing service.


Consultant Control Engineer
Member AndyClegg

Please see your inbox.

Consultant Control Engineer