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New testing centre for large electric drive systems begins operations

Finland-based Yaskawa Environmental Energy / The Switch has started operations at its heavyweight Large Drive Testing Centre (LDTC) in Lappeenranta in the south-east of the country.

This state-of-the-art testing centre is intended to develop bigger and ever more efficient electric drive system. The company says the centre “can provide some of the answers to questions being asked by the maritime sector as shipowners, system integrators and shipyards navigate towards a greener future, while also looking to cut costs through better performance, greater efficiencies and improved reliability.”


Yaskawa Environmental Energy / The Switch produces its permanent magnet (PM) direct-drive shaft generators, propulsion machines and auxiliary generators at Lappeenranta. It says that the trend across the marine sector has been to move to increasingly higher capacity propulsion systems to power larger and larger vessels and the new testing centre can now push the boundaries for the biggest machines in the business.


The centre can handle 12-megawatt drive systems, and this will increase soon to a giant 18 MW, “outstripping almost anything else being offered across the globe”. It also has 80-tonnes heavy-lift capacity.


Matti Nikkinen, vice president of operations at Yaskawa Environmental Energy / The Switch, says: ‘’Equipment is getting bigger and bigger all the time.


We had to have a place where we can verify these units. It is important we can show the customer that our equipment can pass all the tests. Drives are continuously getting more powerful. So the main purpose for the testing facility is we can now answer the questions coming from the market.’’


The new centre is attached to the main factory at Lappeenranta so finished units can be extensively tested to full capacity and complete certification can be carried out on site. This saves time and money down the line when it comes to the commissioning phase for any vessel using the equipment.


Nikkinen claims that the test centre is “nimble for such a heavy hitter as it offers a great deal of flexibility”.


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