PNNL hybrid research vessel hits the water

Written by Marine Log Staff
hybrid research vessel

Photo: Snow & Company

Seattle-based Snow & Company recently launched the 50-foot plug-in hybrid research vessel it is building for the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) into Lake Washington.

The vessel, the R/V Resilience, is set for for delivery to the PNNL-Sequim campus, in Sequim, Wash., in 2024. The Seqim campus houses the only marine research facilities in the Department of Energy.

PNNL is managed for the Department of Energy by Battelle and Snow calls the vessel its “battle cat.”

The vessel’s hybrid system includes

  • Hybrid battery: Spear 113kWh
  • Engines: Volvo D8 510 hp
  • Electric motors: Danfoss 20 kW

Resilience has space for two crew members and six scientists, es, a 500 lb davit, a dive operations platform, an onboard scuba tank recharge air compressor, a FLIR camera, and a 1,000 pound capacity crane.

In a social media post, Snow notes that, on electric. the hybrid research vessel, can operate silently and maxes out at around 6 knots, while, on diesel. it can make 28 knots.

“We hate to see her leave, but we love to watch her go!” says Snow

The PNNL-Sequim campus, where the hybrid research vessel will be based is uniquely positioned on Sequim Bay which links a small, but relatively undisturbed, watershed to the Strait of Juan de Fuca in the Puget Sound. This allows for:

  • direct studies of environmental impacts on marine species
  • a potential study area for energy deployment
  • use of seawater in adjacent lab facilities
  • testing of innovative marine sensors
  • rapid access to diverse marine environments.

Sequim research is supported by more than 80 staff members with expertise in biotechnology, biogeochemistry, ecosystems science, toxicology, and Earth systems modeling. A dive team is also on staff to support in-water research and testing. Projects at PNNL-Sequim span algal biofuels, biofouling and biocorrosion, climate change and ocean acidification, environmental monitoring, quantification of transport and effects of chemicals in marine environments, and coastal risk and hazard prediction and analysis.

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