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Hybrid wind farm SOV to have ABB Onboard DC Grid

Written by Nick Blenkey
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SOV has been designed by Norway's Salt Ship Design

AUGUST 22, 2017 — A diesel-electric offshore wind farm Service Operation Vessel (SOV) designed by Norway’s Salt Ship Design and being built for Louis Dreyfus Armateurs by Turkey’s Cemre Shipyard is to have an ABB Onboard DC Grid power distribution system to enable the cost-efficient integration of batteries. As an integral part of the power system, the ABB Power and Energy Management System (PEMS) will ensure safe and efficient operation of the vessel.

The hybrid system enables lean operation with fewer running generators without compromising on safety, meaning less maintenance and better fuel consumption over the long-term.

“Shipping is waking up to the many advantages of energy storage,” said Juha Koskela, Managing Director of ABB’s marine and ports business. “With the industry starting to use batteries more and more, and fuel cells becoming a viable option, we fully expect the Onboard DC Grid to gain further traction.”

The Onboard DC Grid will integrate two sets of batteries used primarily for spinning reserve and peak shaving. Power peaks during operation can be covered by the battery rather than starting another engine. Again, battery power can act as backup for running generators, reducing the need to run spare generator capacity. In addition to ship efficiency gains, the mode of operation has long-term benefits for ship engines, as it increases efficiency through higher engine load and reduces running hours overall.

The Onboard DC Grid has been installed on a wide range of vessels including ferries, OSVs and a cable layer.

“This project shows how energy storage is a cost-effective solution that maximize energy efficiency and safety,” said John Olav Lindtjørn, Global Product Manager for Onboard DC Grid at ABB Marine & Ports. “Energy storage can be used for many purposes onboard; sometimes it serves as the sole energy source but for this wind farm vessel it is being deployed as an effective supporting element for the main engine.”

The whole power system is controlled by integrated PEMS, enabling the generators to run at variable speeds and charge the batteries in the optimal way while at the same time maximizing safety and efficiency. This contrasts with traditional AC systems, where generators run at fixed maximum speed irrespective of the power demand onboard, leading to excessive engine wear and poor fuel efficiency at lower loads.

The ship’s crew of up to ninety will also benefit of the reduced vibrations.

The 83.0 m x 19.4 m SOV will be operating for DONG Energy on four wind farms off the German coast and will be equipped with a dynamic motion compensated gangway system.

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