The subject of this month’s feature once again throws the spotlight on the UK shipbuilding industry and is the result of a collaboration between 3 South Coast experts in their maritime fields, namely BAR Technologies (Portsmouth), Chartwell Marine (Southampton) and Seacat Services (Cowes) with the entire design and build process remaining in the UK. We start with Land Rover BAR’s modern headquarters that opened on the Camber in Old Portsmouth in the summer of 2015 for the Ben Ainslie Racing team. Designed by HGP Architects, responsible for Portsmouth’s Spinnaker Tower, the building was opened as a base for Sir Ben Ainslie and his racing team prior to launching their bid to bring the America’s Cup home to the UK in 2017. With a carbon neutral theme, the building was constructed using cutting-edge methods, fabric and technologies optimising sustainability to BREEAM Excellent standard. Powered by 432 solar photovoltaic panels, it generates 130MWh a year providing all electricity required. The sail-like façade, created from transparent PTFE fabric stretched around a polished concrete base, is designed to be backlit at night and assists the building’s efficiency. Another aim for the location was to support the growth of the marine sector in the Solent area to match the UK’s Formula 1 Racing innovation hub. In November 2021 the BAR team moved out of the site and relocated to Brackley but remaining in situ was the Applied Technology business, BAR Technologies, and the official BAR charity the 1851 Trust, with over 100 personnel working on-site. The loss of the racing team caused huge disappointment to the city. Before the BAR team’s final departure, the British advanced maritime technology business, SubSea Craft Ltd. and BAR Technologies, signed a new 5-year contract to further reinforce their partnership, which saw SubSea Craft move its operations from Havant into the Camber, Portsmouth, alongside BAR Technologies. The intention with this set up was to create a hub for innovative and advanced maritime technology in the heart of Portsmouth. BAR Technologies (BARTech) was formed in 2016 as the culmination of decades of experience at the very highest levels of competition on both land and water. The team specialises in technically challenging multidisciplinary design, evaluation and optimisation engineering challenges. BARTech’s expertise encompasses Naval Architecture, Design Optimisation, Computational Fluid Dynamics, Performance Simulation and Analysis, Control System Software Design, Structural Analysis, Mechanical, Composite and Detail Design and Project Supply and Supply Chain Management. This expertise is employed within the following maritime sectors, Workboats and Commercial Vessels, Shipping, Leisure Marine and Yachts and Special Projects. Ultimately, the day-to-day work of BAR Technologies draws upon the highest level of engineering expertise and understanding of hydrodynamics from the fields of Formula 1 racing and the America’s Cup respectively, to take on some of the biggest challenges in vessel efficiency and maritime decarbonisation.

Reinventing the CTV

BAR Technologies challenged themselves to incorporate a broad knowledge of naval architecture, simulation, CFD and patented IP into a superior Crew Transfer Vessel (CTV) for taking technicians to work on Wind Turbines (amongst other uses). The aim was to improve seakeeping and help make a green energy sector even greener by dramatically reducing fuel requirements and CO2 emissions.

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