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Floating schoolhouse to have Northern Lights hybrid system

Written by Nick Blenkey

marine aquarium hybridNOVEMBER 28, 2012 — Seattle headquartered Northern Lights reports that its Hybrid Marine system has been selected to power a new 65 ft research vessel that will operate as a “floating schoolhouse” for the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk, Conn.

Northern Lights Hybrid Marine solution combines its high performance Lugger propulsion engines with BAE System’s HybriDrive Propulsion System.

The new research vessel – designed by Incat Crowther – will be used throughout Long Island Sound to entertain and inform aquarium patrons. Installing the Hybrid Marine system allows the vessel the clean, reliable propulsion it needs to travel out into the Sound. By utilizing stored energy it can remain under quiet, eco-friendly power during extended periods of at-sea education. And because the same system provides the vessel’s AC electrical power, it eliminates the need for running an additional genset.

Northern Lights Hybrid Marine utilizes a hybrid system that has been proven in millions of miles of on-road operational service. It provides power via tested, reliable Lugger L1064A propulsion engines with integrated starter generators (ISG). Energy is held in an energy storage module (ESM) and metered through a power control system (PCS). The traction motor provides energy to the prop, while energy is stored for its most efficient usage.

The traction motor is attached to the propeller shaft; but the remaining components can be installed virtually anywhere in the engine room. With its flexible architecture, Hybrid Marine can be designed for electric propulsion, shipboard AC power, or both – as in the case of the Maritime Aquarium vessel.

“The entire package is designed to be clean, quiet and environmentally responsible,” said Northern Lights vice president Mike Maynard. “Our hybrid marine solution eliminates wet stacking and will reduce both energy waste and fuel costs.”

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