Diesel-Electric Propulsion for Offshore

By Alan Haig-Brown
Friday, March 14, 2014
Photo courtesy of Eastern Shipbuilding

Images of the Bravante courtesy of Eastern Shipbuilding, the genet on truck is courtesy of Cummins Mid-South

Long reserved for specialized applications such as icebreakers, diesel electric has enjoyed a rapid growth for marine propulsion in the past decade. Throughout that period, Cummins Marine has been a leader, supplying more than 900 diesel electric packages since delivering its first genset 2003.

Early adopters of this flexible propulsion technology included the US firm Rigdon Marine with twenty vessels and France-based Bourbon Offshore with over 100 vessels.

In late 2011 Aries Marine built two STX-designed Tiger Shark Class PSVs. After nine months operating in Mexico, one of their vessel engineers, Darrell Bickham, enthused over the performance. “We only put enough engines on line as we need for the job. We can stand by the rig outside the 500-meter zone on one of our four Cummins QSK60-powered generators. Traveling we can make 10 knots with only two operating at 50 to 60 percent of their rated power.”

Captain Philip Munsch added, “If we get into weather we can bring on three or even four engines as required. But they are always running at a steady 1,800 RPM with no revving up and down so crew comfort and safety is improved because of the reduced fatigue.”

The fuel economy made possible by using only the number of engines required to do the job at hand is pleasing to both owners and charterers. The flexibility in engine placement afforded by the absence of a long drive shaft between the generators and propulsion motors allows for engine placement on the main deck resulting in increased cargo capacity in the vessel’s hull.

There is virtually no downtime as engine servicing can be done with one or more engines off line. Modern electronic systems have made diesel electric generator sets reliable and easily managed. It is, then, little wonder that this form of powering the modern offshore fleet is gaining even more followers.

Brazil’s Bravante Group recently (February 28, 2014) took delivery of the M/V Bravante VI, their second in a five vessel series of diesel-electric PSVs, from Florida’s Eastern Shipbuilding. The Bravante V delivered in 2013 is already on charter in Brazilian waters.

Designed by STX and designated the STX SV290 design the 86.5-meter (284-foot) by 18.3-meter (60-foot) by 7.5-meter (24-foot) vessels are built around four Cummins-powered generators. Each 16-cylinder Cummins QSK60-DM engine rated for 1825 kW at 1800 RPM powers a Marathon Model 744 690VAC generator also supplied by Cummins.

A pair of 690VAC electric motors each turning nozzled fixed-pitch propellers on Schottel Combi-Drives provides main propulsion. These two propulsion motors are each rated at 2,500 kW at 750 RPM to give a total of 6700 HP. Two Schottel 1180 kW tunnel thrusters with direct coupled electric drives also draw their power from the four main Cummins QSK60-powered generators. The flexibility of the diesel electric system in providing power to both ends of the vessel as well as to a wide array of cargo pumps and general ship requirements continues to attract owners’ attention and orders.
 

  • Photo courtesy of Cummins Mid-South

    Photo courtesy of Cummins Mid-South

  • Photo courtesy of Eastern Shipbuilding

    Photo courtesy of Eastern Shipbuilding

  • Photo courtesy of Eastern Shipbuilding

    Photo courtesy of Eastern Shipbuilding

  • Photo courtesy of Cummins Mid-South
  • Photo courtesy of Eastern Shipbuilding
  • Photo courtesy of Eastern Shipbuilding

Maritime Today


The Maritime Industry's original and most viewed E-News Service

Maritime Reporter January 2016 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

MHI's Entity to Oversee Material Handling Equipment, Engine and Turbocharger Businesses

Today Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) decided in principle to launch a new wholly owned entity to integrally oversee its current businesses in material

Globus Maritime Reclassifies Board Member

Globus Maritime Limited, a dry bulk shipping company, announced today that when Georgios Karageorgiou, a Class I director of Globus Maritime Limited  resigned on December 28,

First Panama Canal Water-Saving Basin Filled

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) announced that the first water-saving basin of the Agua Clara Locks’ upper chamber has been filled to the required level in order

Offshore

Corima Acquires Damen ASD 2810 Tug

On 20 January 2016, Corima, part of the Italy-based Gesmar Group, held an official handover ceremony for a Damen ASD 2810 tug. The festivities were attended by

HHI to Localise Main Equipment for Offshore Plants

Hyundai Heavy Industries and Doosan Heavy Industries Collaborate in Localizing Main Equipment for Offshore Plants   Seoul, South Korea – February 4 – Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI),

European Consortium Launches Blue Nodules Project

On 1 February a European consortium launched a new Horizon 2020 project: Blue Nodules. This project addresses the challenge of creating a viable and sustainable

Marine Power

Indian Navy Shows Off Strength

India’s naval might was on full display off the coast of Visakhapatnam today (Saturday) as President Pranab Mukherjee reviewed the naval fleet.   Mukherjee,

VPS Raises Concerns Over Revised Rules for Fuels

Veritas Petroleum Services (VPS) expressed reservations about some of the proposed revisions to the international ISO 8217 specifications of marine fuels. Areas

China to Enforce Low Sulphur ECA in Yangtze River Delta

Vessels calling ports in China’s Yangtze River Delta, including Shanghai, will be required to burn low sulphur fuel while at berth from April 1 this year.   China’s

News

MHI's Entity to Oversee Material Handling Equipment, Engine and Turbocharger Businesses

Today Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) decided in principle to launch a new wholly owned entity to integrally oversee its current businesses in material

Globus Maritime Reclassifies Board Member

Globus Maritime Limited, a dry bulk shipping company, announced today that when Georgios Karageorgiou, a Class I director of Globus Maritime Limited  resigned on December 28,

First Panama Canal Water-Saving Basin Filled

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) announced that the first water-saving basin of the Agua Clara Locks’ upper chamber has been filled to the required level in order

Marine Equipment

MHI's Entity to Oversee Material Handling Equipment, Engine and Turbocharger Businesses

Today Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) decided in principle to launch a new wholly owned entity to integrally oversee its current businesses in material

VT Halter Delivers ATB Tug to Bouchard

VT Halter Marine, Inc. announced the delivery of the M/V Morton S. Bouchard Jr., the first of the two 6,000 horsepower Twin Screw Articulated Tug Barge (ATB) tugs to Bouchard Transportation Co.

Sill Reinforcements Complete in New Panama Canal Locks

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) announced that sill reinforcements in the new locks have been completed this week, bringing the Panama Canal Expansion closer to inauguration.

 
 
Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Maritime Standards Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion Salvage Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1576 sec (6 req/sec)