A former NOAA marine sanctuary research vessel is to have a new life—as advanced technology demonstrator Experimental Craft – Electric (XC-E). The vessel has been purchased by Anacortes, Wash., headquartered Lavle USA Inc., which recently reported on the advances it has made in integrating Solid Electrolyte Batteries (SEB) into marine Energy Storage Systems (ESS).
When this SEB technology is combined with a novel propulsion solution, says Lavle, this creates new capabilities to meet the existing technology gap for integrating ESS into high speed surface craft.
To explore the possibilities offered by this technology, Lavle and its joint venture partner Ockerman Automation will perform the necessary upgrades and engineering to convert the 26 m former NOAA vessel over the next year, utilizing Ockerman’s naval architects/marine engineers working in Newport News, Va.
The XC-E will be part of Lavle’s Marine Electric Propulsion Simulation Laboratory (MEPS) assets, providing a platform for analysis and technology to be proven on board a high-speed surface vessel.
“One of the most important parts of commercializing any new technology is to test and demonstrate it in the field,” said Jason Nye, CEO of Lavle. “The XC-E vessel will enable LAVLE to demonstrate the operation of our novel SEB and propulsion solution technology in a real-life application. When combined with the MEPS Lab, this will enable Lavle to take customers on the XC-E vessel and see our solutions in action and then visit the MEPS Lab to see our integrated solutions for their own vessels designed, modeled and operational in our state-of-the-art simulator. Customers will leave feeling confident that the Lavle and Ockerman Automation solution will deliver the benefits they expect for their vessels.”