Diesel Electric on the North Sea

Wednesday, January 02, 2008
While diesel-electric propulsion continues to garner converts in North America, it is a more usual system in Europe. The noted Danish operator of emergency response/rescue vessels, ESVAGT, took delivery of four diesel-electric vessels from the ASL-Marine yard in Singapore in 2007. Two more of the sister-ships will follow in 2008. As with the rest of the ESVAGT fleet the new vessels are a bright red. And like the rest of the fleet they have the distinctive raised fo’c’sle design of boats ready for heavy seas. The first of the six boat series, the Esvagt Carpathia, is named in honor of the SS Carpathia that was the first ship on the scene after the sinking of the Titanic and took aboard 700 survivors. A fitting name for this stout 45.8 by 11.5 m rescue vessel with accommodation for a crew of 12 and space for up to 300 survivors. Designed for extended periods at sea the vessels have 95 cu. m. of water tanks and 200 cu. m. of fuel tanks. Propulsion power derives from five Cummins KTA19 D powered generators each producing 485 kW for a total of 2,425 with all generators on line. The electrical power turns two 715 kW azimuthing drives to give the boats a 12-knot service speed. The boat is also fitted with two bow thrusters. The diesel-electric system is well suited to the application as the vessel spends much of its time in a stand-by mode in which case it is not necessary to have all five of the six-cylinder main engines on line at the same time the five engines offer strong redundancy for the requirements of the azimuthing drives. Each vessel is also fitted with a Cummins 6CTA8.3 emergency generator set. The boats carry two fast rescue craft and have a large open area on the raised fo’c’sle and on the stern marked for lifting survivors from the deck to a helicopter. The boats also have some towing capabilities in the event that they need to move a vessel with a dead engine to avoid it hitting a drilling rig. The Esvagt Carpathia was named in April 2007 prior to going to work in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea. Her sister Esvagt Cassiopeia was delivered in June while the Esvagt Carina was named in October and the Esvagt Champion was named at a ceremony in Denmark on November
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