ABB has secured an order from Norwegian shipowner Myklebusthaug Management to supply the direct current (DC) power grid on board a new offshore platform support vessel.
According to the company, the first such DC-based electric solution will be installed on a new offshore platform support vessel (PSV) being built in Norway, which will allow it to cut fuel consumption and emissions up to 20%.
Multiple DC connections in traditional electrical propulsion vessels are made to thrusters and propulsion drives from an alternating current (AC) circuit, consuming over 80% of vessel’s electrical power, while the company’s Onboard DC Grid distributes power through a single DC circuit providing significant power savings.
ABB head of process automation division Veli-Matti Reinikkala said with this solution, the vessel will be ready to maximise opportunities in energy savings with supplementary DC energy sources, such as solar panels, fuel cells, or batteries connected directly to the ship’s Onboard DC Grid.
"The Onboard DC Grid will help the vessel operate from the very first day at the highest levels of fuel efficiency with low emissions," Reinikkala said.
Launched in May last year, Onboard DC Grid is part of a revival of power solutions using DC, and will provide efficient power distribution and electric propulsion for a range of vessels with low-voltage onboard circuits, such as offshore support vessels, tug boats, ferries and yachts.
Full onboard DC system, which includes all power, propulsion and automation systems will be installed on the 93 metre long, 5,000 tonne multi-purpose oil field supply and construction vessel, which is slated for delivery in the first quarter of 2013.
The main feature of the Onboard DC Grid is that the vessel’s engines no longer have to run at a fixed speed, so the engine’s speed can be adjusted to optimise fuel consumption.
By removing the need for bulky transformers and switchboards, the footprint and weight of the electrical system can be reduced by up to 30%, leaving more space on the vessels for passengers or cargo.
Image: Onboard DC Grid to be installed on a new offshore PSV will help reduce fuel consumption and emissions up to 20%.