VIDEO: Island Offshore to convert three PSVs to battery-hybrid operation

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Island Crusader with battery pack installed. [Photo: Ole-Ivar Guleng, PSW Power & Automation AS]

Ulsteinvik, Norway, headquartered offshore services vessel operator Island Offshore has awarded Kongsberg Maritime a contract to supply turnkey hybrid battery solutions for three of its UT 776 CD-design Platform Supply Vessels, Island Crusader, Island Contender and Island Commander.

Two of the vessels, Island Crusader and Island Contender, are powered by a combination of Bergen LNG engines and Bergen Diesel engines, while the Island Commander is powered by four diesels. Island Crusader has been sailing on battery power since early summer.

“Two of the vessels are already running on natural gas (LNG) or optionally MGO (Marine Gas Oil), and will now additionally have batteries and shore connection installed. This will contribute significantly to reducing emissions,” says Tommy Walaunet, Managing Director of Island Offshore Management AS.

A battery pack can be used to provide spare capacity and extra safety when the vessel is alongside a rig, thus saving both fuel and generator running hours, notes Island Offshore. In addition the battery will deliver quick and effective power during transit, reducing the need to start up an extra generator for peak loads. As the gas engines perform best when running on constant load, the combination with batteries is ideal.

“The generators does most of the work while the battery absorbs the variations up and down, resulting in smooth sailing without the great need of extra engine power to handle head seas,” says Walaunet.

All three vessels have been chartered by Lundin Energy Norway on long-term contracts.

The vessels will be equipped with battery containers placed on a mezzanine deck aft of the wheel house, to avoid losing valuable deck space when working as supply vessels.

In addition, shore power connections will be installed enabling the vessels to berth alongside quays without using engine power where shore side electrical power is supplied. In ports without shore power vessels can operate in harbor mode, using battery power only. This reduces engine-running hours significantly, while reducing the local environmental impact and well as fuel costs. The generator will only start up when the batteries are discharged, in order to recharge them.

“All three vessels have been chartered on long term contracts by Lundin previously, thus Lundin knows our vessels well,” says Walaumet. “By further developing these vessels together with us, they show that they take their environmental responsibility seriously and wish to reduce their environmental footprint. This is also an important priority for us as shipowners.”

Island Crusader entered into service on July 4, chartered to support the rig West Bollsta, while Island Contender will support Rowan Viking commencing in the spring of 2021. Island Commander is already on contract for Lundin, and will keep continue supporting the activity on Edvard Grieg, as she does today, with a new three-year charter commencing in November.


Kongsberg Maritime says the solution opted for by Island Offshore will operate via a single feed from the ESS (Energy Storage System) to the main switchboard – with manual changeover that will enable the operators to balance out running hours on generators – and a 600 kW dual shore connection.

Kongsberg Maritime’s 8 meter/26 foot ESS 896 kWh deckhouse will enclose a standard, type-approved, liquid-cooled container solution with air-cooled SAVe Energy batteries.

Kongsberg’s scope of supply will also involve modifications to each vessel’s main switchboard and K-Power EMS energy management system, as well as an upgrade of the shps’ Acon automation and alarm systems.

“The operational, financial and ecological benefits of hybridization based on our lithium-ion SAVe Energy modular energy storage system speak for themselves,” says Gaute Aasen Augestad, Regional Sales Manager (EMEA), Kongsberg Maritime. “Applying this concept to the PSV market sets an important precedent for the industry, and we’re pleased to have been entrusted with delivering this integrated technology package for these Island Offshore vessels.”

Video credit: Ole-Ivar Guleng, PSW Power & Automation AS
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