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SOV to feature ABB's bunker-saving Onboard DC Grid system

System enables integration of battery power on specialized hybrid wind farm vessel.

Updated on 22 Aug 2017 10:18 GMT

ABB says it will be installing its Onboard DC Grid system aboard a new Louis Dreyfus Armateurs (LDA) wind farm service operation vessel (SOV) to enable the cost-efficient integration of batteries.

The Onboard DC Grid, which has already been installed on a wide range of vessels including ferries, OSVs and a cable layer, and which in a previous installation was said to cut bunker consumption by up to 27 percent, will integrate two sets of batteries used primarily for spinning reserve and peak shaving. Power peaks during operation will be able to be covered by the battery rather than starting another engine. Also, battery power will be able to act as backup for running generators, reducing the need to run spare generator capacity.

In addition to ship efficiency gains, the mode of operation has long-term benefits for ship engines, as it increases efficiency through higher engine load and reduces running hours overall.

The whole power system is controlled by an integrated power and energy management system (PEMS), enabling the generators to run at variable speeds and charge the batteries in an optimal manner while at the same time maximizing safety and efficiency. This contrasts with traditional AC systems, where generators run at fixed maximum speed irrespective of the power demand onboard, leading to excessive engine wear and poor fuel efficiency at lower loads.

ABB's hybrid system is said to provide lean operation with fewer running generators without compromising on safety, meaning less maintenance and better fuel consumption over the long-term.

"Shipping is waking up to the many advantages of energy storage," said Juha Koskela, Managing Director of ABB's marine and ports business. "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."

"This project shows how energy storage is a cost-effective solution that maximize energy efficiency and safety," said John Olav Lindtjorn, Global Product Manager for Onboard DC Grid at ABB Marine & Ports. "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 SOV is designed by Norway's Salt Ship Design and it is to be built at Cemre Shipyard in Turkey.

Once completed, the LDA ship will operate on four wind farms off the German coast, enabling the maintenance of the turbines by wind farm technicians.

Image: Depiction of Louis Dreyfus Armateurs' wind farm Service Operation Vessel (SOV), which will feature ABB's Onboard DC Grid system.

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'Up to 27%' less fuel consumption with Onboard DC Grid

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