The technology group Wärtsilä is to retrofit the world’s first energy storage solution on board a large offshore supply vessel, the North Sea Giant. Described as one of the world’s largest and most advanced subsea construction vessels, she will be fitted with an energy storage system that reduces the vessel’s energy consumption, operating costs and exhaust emissions.
Wärtsilä says that the retrofit energy storage system improves the operational efficiency and environmental footprint of the North Sea Giant, responding to key requirements of Norwegian North Sea Shipping AS, the owner of the vessel. The solution provides power redundancy and increases responsiveness of vessel operations.
Typically, a vessel with dynamic positioning uses two or more engines simultaneously to secure back-up power. This means that the engines’ load run low. By using a hybrid/battery system to provide the needed back-up power, one operational engine can be used closer to its optimal load. In addition to the hybrid/battery solution, the retrofit includes fitting new transformers, filters, switchboard, shore connection equipment, upgrades of existing components and commissioning.
“For us is it important to reduce environmental emissions and modernise the vessel to make it more competitive. In addition, with a more efficient vessel, we will save fuel expenses. The estimated reduction in emissions is 5.5 million kg CO2, 30 tons of NOx and 1,200 kg SOx per year. After Wärtsilä had retrofitted our ship Atlantic Guardian in 2014, we really understood how much fuel can be saved by improving the vessel’s efficiency. Efficiency also saves time, because you only need to refuel every second or third port visit,” says Hallvard Klepsvik, the vessel’s Norwegian owner North Sea Shipping.
A Wärtsilä statement adds: “The North Sea Giant is a DP3 vessel. The ship is listed in the most advanced category of vessels that apply dynamic positioning. Installation of an energy storage solution into a class DP3 vessel has never been carried out before and requires a redefinition of applicable classification rules. Therefore Wärtsilä and North Sea Shipping AS are working in close collaboration with the DNV-GL classification society.
Meanwhile another classification society, American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) has published what it describes as the maritime industry’s “first comprehensive guide on supercapacitor use” which it says “expands options for efficient energy storage”. The ABS Guide for Use of Supercapacitors in the Marine and Offshore Industries (Supercapacitor Guide) is intended to support safe application of hybrid power in the marine and offshore industries.
ABS says that the maritime industry is increasingly interested in using supercapacitors as an energy storage solution when quick energy delivery is required during a peak loading condition. In particular, offshore supply vessel (OSV) owners are considering supercapacitors to supplement energy supply during high-load operations, such as using power thrusters for dynamic positioning while station keeping.
“We are developing a series of guides on energy storage systems so our clients have as many options as possible to effectively manage energy use,” says ABS Senior Vice President of Engineering and Technology Derek Novak. “Supercapacitors have a high power density and a fast charging and discharging process to augment other power sources – which can greatly improve the efficiency of traditional energy sources.”
The Supercapacitor Guide delineates types of supercapacitors, including electrochemical capacitors and lithium ion capacitors, and defines requirements for design, construction and installation of supercapacitors in marine and offshore applications.
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