Japan’s Roboship will feature ABB technology

Written by Nick Blenkey
ABB-equipped Roboship solution for coastal shipping

Roboship will feature a complete modularized electrical propulsion package from ABB.

The 499 gt Roboship biomass fuel carrier design unveiled last year by Tokyo-based e5 Lab Inc. and Mitsubishi Shipbuilding will be equipped with a complete modularized electrical propulsion package from ABB. The system will enable it to utilize multiple energy sources for optimized operational efficiency and emissions-free operations. Additional benefits of the system include reduced noise and vibration, lower maintenance costs, and improved steering capabilities that make pier docking and undocking operations easier.

To be built by Honda Heavy Industries Co., Ltd., the 70-meter long vessel uses a hybrid system of large-capacity storage batteries and generators to drive the propulsion motors.

The design has the potential to both reduce CO2 emissions from coastal vessels and lessen crew workloads—a major concern in Japan, which has an aging maritime workforce.

ABB’s full scope of supply includes a standard system package comprising the hardware for electric propulsion, including propulsion motors, DSC switchboards, energy storage batteries and generators, and ABB Ability Marine Remote Diagnostic System for continuous monitoring and remote support.

“The collaboration with ABB has been beyond our expectations in delivering world-leading technology and efficiency, the ultimate in safety and reliability, specific size and weight reductions, that is unique to coastal vessels.” said Yasumasa Suetsugu, chief technology officer at e5 Lab. “Furthermore, the high digital compatibility will help reduce both operations and maintenance costs. Our goal is to make a significant contribution to resolving the environmental challenges and reducing crew workload which face coastal shipping in Japan.”

Masao Akamatsu, president, IHI Power Systems, commented: “Our marine power systems team chose to work with ABB based on their excellent global reputation as an integrator of marine electrical systems and reliable, high quality products and services.”

“We are honored to have been selected for this groundbreaking project that will play a significant part in the efforts to decarbonize Japanese shipping,” said Juha Koskela, division president, ABB Marine & Ports. “Electric-powered ships are key to the shipping industry’s sustainable future – and we take pride in providing our customers with highly efficient electric propulsion solutions that are compliant with today’s regulations and allow integrating with emissions-free energy sources in the future.”

ABB’s Onboard DC Grid power distribution system is modular and can be built to suit various vessel types – from the largest ocean-going ships to smaller lower-power vessels operating over shorter distances and on inland waterways. The solution futureproofs ships to draw on clean energy sources for zero-emissions operations – without compromising speed or sailing range

Categories: News, Technology Tags: