Fuel Savings Confirmed by Ships on ABB DC Grid

By George Backwell
Monday, June 16, 2014
Dina Star: Image ABB

ABB say that the first documented results from Onboard DC Grid vessel confirm considerable fuel and noise reduction through the use of its Onboard DC Grid, where engines to run at variable speeds for top fuel efficiency at each load level.

ABB explain that its Onboard DC Grid represents a breakthrough for the maritime industry in optimized propulsion by distributing power through a single DC circuit providing significant power savings while also improving the safety and redundancy compared with traditional AC systems.

The measurements and tests, conducted by Pon Power in collaboration with ABB on Myklebusthaug
Offshore’s platform supply vessel “Dina Star,” identified reduction of specific fuel oil consumption of
up to 27 percent.

The tests also measured fuel consumption in dynamic positioning operations during challenging weather conditions, identifying fuel savings of 14 percent.

Dynamic positioning operations, where computers automatically maintain a vessel's position and heading, account for a considerable portion of a typical offshore vessel’s operational profile.

“Our Onboard DC Grid is a significant step forward for electric propulsion. We are pleased that the concept delivered results that exceed our expectations”, said Veli-Matti Reinikkala, head of ABB’s Process Automation division. “Onboard DC Grid is a competitive advantage to ship owners operating a wide range of ship types from offshore vessels to ferries and yachts seeking to increase fuel efficiency and reduce emissions.”

In addition to fuel consumption, Pon Power and ABB measured Onboard DC Grid’s effect on engine room noise levels. Tests showed 30 percent noise reduction, contributing to improved working conditions aboard the vessel.

Onboard DC Grid’s effect on engine room noise levels. Tests showed 30 percent noise reduction, contributing to improved working conditions aboard the vessel.

"Noise and vibration reduction has already been a focus of ours for years with our GenFlex Design solution. The ability now to document this level of fuel efficiency alongside the noise reduction is a very important new step for us as a power solution provider, especially for our customers operating in challenging conditions", says Ole Knarberg, Commercial Director for the Marine segment in Pon Power Scandinavia.

ABB add that its Onboard DC Grid power distribution system was granted “Approval in Principle by American Bureau of Shipping” in January 2014.
 

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