Wärtsilä has signed an agreement with Eidesvik Offshore to install a hybrid system with batteries on board the offshore supply vessel (OSV) Viking Princess.
Wärtsilä said on Friday that the vessel would become the first OSV in which batteries reduce the number of generators on board. The new hybrid technology will be installed in September 2017.
According to the company, the new energy storage solution will improve engine efficiency, generate fuel savings, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The Viking Princess provides supplies to oil rigs in the North Sea and Barents Sea. The five-year-old vessel runs on four LNG-powered Wärtsilä engines. Depending on the ongoing task and weather conditions, the engine load varies between 20% and 90%.
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. The technology is similar to that in hybrid cars keeping the engine load from dipping and re-routs the surplus to charge a battery, which in turn can fill in when needed.
“In 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 percent,” said Wärtsilä.
Consequently, the Viking Princess may cut CO2 emissions by 13-18 percent per year, depending on the operating conditions.
Vermund Hjelland, VP of technical development at Eidesvik Offshore, said: “Eidesvik and Wärtsilä have had a long and fruitful cooperation since 2003, when Viking Energy, the world’s first LNG driven supply vessel, was launched.
“Now, the Viking Princess becomes the first offshore supply vessel, where one of its generators will be fully replaced with batteries.”
Enova SF, a Norwegian state enterprise, owned by the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy (MPE) supported the project with NOK 6.5 million ($774,000) to accelerate sustainable energy production in the maritime sector.
Cato Esperø, sales director of Wärtsilä Norway, said: “We are confident that this project will have a positive effect on the industry. 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.”