The technology group Wartsila has signed an agreement with Eidesvik Offshore to install a hybrid system with batteries on board its liquefied natural gas-powered vessel Viking Princess.
According to Wartsila, this will become the first offshore supply vessel in which batteries reduce the number of generators on board. The new energy storage solution will improve engine efficiency, generating fuel savings and reducing greenhouse-gas emissions.
Viking Princess provides supplies to oil rigs in the North Sea and Barents Sea. The five-year-old vessel runs on four LNG Wartsila engines. Depending on the ongoing task and weather conditions, the engine load varies between 90% and 20%.
The tech company explains that the new energy storage solution replaces one of the vessel’s four generators and can provide balancing energy to cover the peaks, resulting in a more stable load on the engines. In essence, the technology is similar to that in hybrid cars: It keeps the engine load from dipping and re-routs the surplus to charge a battery, which, in turn, can fill in when needed.
As the operating profile of supply vessels is very variable, there is significant potential for fuel savings through improved engine efficiency. In the dynamic positioning mode, when the battery is used as power redundancy and the engine runs at its most efficient load, the fuel saving potential is 30%. Consequently, the Viking Princess may cut CO2 emissions by 13% to 18% per year, depending on the operating conditions.
“Eidesvik and Wartsila have had a long and fruitful cooperation since 2003, when ‘Viking Energy,’ the world’s first LNG-driven supply vessel, was launched. The cooperation was developed further with the installment of batteries to support the generators of ‘Viking Lady’ in 2015.
Now ‘Viking Princess’ becomes the first offshore supply vessel where one of its generators will be fully replaced with batteries. We are grateful to both Wartsila and the NCE Maritime Clean Tech, who made this important and progressive cooperation possible,” says Vermund Hjelland, vice president of technical development for Eidesvik Offshore.
Wartsila will install the new hybrid system in September.
“There is an increasing focus in shipping to reduce emissions, and we believe that ship owners will continue to install hybrid solutions – both on existing vessels and new builds,” adds Cato Esperø, sales director for Wartsila Norway.