Wärtsilä informs it has signed an agreement with Norway’s Eidesvik Offshore to install a hybrid system with batteries on board of its offshore supply vessel (OSV) Viking Princess.
Batteries will reduce the number of generators on board Viking Princess, and the new energy storage solution will improve engine efficiency, generating fuel savings and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, Wärtsilä said.
The five-year-old Viking Princess, which provides supplies to oil rigs in the North Sea and Barents Sea, runs on four LNG-powered Wärtsilä engines. Depending on the ongoing task and weather conditions, the engine load varies between 90 percent and 20 percent.
The new energy storage solution replaces one of the vessel's four generators and can provide balancing energy to cover the peaks, resulting in a more stable load on the engines. Wärtsilä described the technology as similar to that in hybrid cars: it keeps the engine load from dipping and re-routs the surplus to charge a battery, which in turn can fill in when needed.
As the operating profile of supply vessels is very variable, there is significant potential for fuel savings through improved engine efficiency, Wärtsilä noted. In the dynamic positioning mode, for example, when the battery is used as power redundancy and the engine runs at its most efficient load, the fuel saving potential is 30 percent. Consequently, the Viking Princess may cut CO2 emissions by 13-18 percent per year, depending on the operating conditions, Wärtsilä said.
“The Hybrid Energy System is a forward looking solution that not only reduces fuel consumption and emissions, but also contributes to safer and more efficient operations. We are confident that this project will have a positive effect on the industry. There is an increasing focus in shipping to reduce emissions and we believe that ship owners will continue to install hybrid solutions – both on existing vessels and new builds,” said Cato Esperø, Sales Director, Wärtsilä Norway.
The project was supported with 6.5 million Norwegian crowns from Enova SF, a Norwegian state enterprise owned by the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy (MPE).
Vermund Hjelland, Vice President Technical development, Eidesvik Offshore, said, “Eidesvik and Wärtsilä have had a long and fruitful cooperation since 2003, when Viking Energy, the world's first LNG driven supply vessel, was launched. The cooperation was developed further with the installment of batteries to support the generators of Viking Lady in 2015. Now Viking Princess becomes the first offshore supply vessel, where one of its generators will be fully replaced with batteries. We are grateful to both Wärtsilä and the NCE Maritime Clean Tech, who made this important and progressive cooperation possible.”
Wärtsilä will install the new hybrid system in September 2017.