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Hybrid power will make windfarm support ship greener and more fuel efficient

Wed 23 Aug 2017 by Jamey Bergman

Hybrid power will make windfarm support ship greener and more fuel efficient
The hybrid power system on Louis Dreyfus Armateurs’ new SOV will make it more environmentally friendly.

Louis Dreyfus Armateurs’ new windfarm service operation vessel (SOV) will be equipped with a DC distribution grid that will allow batteries to be integrated into the onboard power system, making the ship more environmentally friendly and efficient.

ABB is installing the DC grid along with what it calls a power and energy management system (PEMS) enabling the generators to run at variable speeds while also charging the batteries.

In a statement, ABB’s marine and ports global product manager for Onboard DC Grid, John Olav Lindtjørn said “Energy storage can be used for many purposes onboard; sometimes it serves as the sole energy source but for this windfarm vessel it is being deployed as an effective supporting element for the main engine.”

The DC grid will integrate two sets of batteries that will be used primarily for spinning reserve and peak shaving so that power peaks during operation can be covered by the battery rather than starting another engine. Battery power can also act as backup for running generators, reducing the need to run spare generator capacity.

The level of operating efficiency available in a hybrid power system saves wear and tear on engines and significantly increases fuel efficiency at lower loads where, in traditional AC power systems, generators run at a fixed maximum speed regardless of the power demand on board.

Apart from enhancing the ship’s green credentials in the environmentally-conscious offshore wind industry, ABB also points to a benefit for the vessel’s crew: reduced vibration when the hybrid system is on battery power. The SOV has accommodation for  90 windfarm technicians and crew at full capacity.

ABB’s marine and ports managing director Juha Koskela said “Shipping is waking up to the many advantages of energy storage. With the industry starting to use batteries more and more and fuel cells becoming a viable option, we fully expect the Onboard DC Grid to gain further traction.”

ABB has installed the DC grid on a number of vessels including ferries, offshore support vessels  and a cable layer. The Louis Dreyfus Armateurs ship will be built by Cemre Shipyard in Turkey. The vessel design is a SOV vessel by Salt Ship Design. The SOV will operate on four windfarms off the German coast, enabling the maintenance of the turbines by wind farm technicians.

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