GE Improves Propulsion Systems Efficiency

MarineLink.com
Monday, May 06, 2013
GE's VF-AFE, helps optimize engine speed on platform support and helps to reduce specific fuel consumption up to 15%, GE says.

GE’s Power Conversion business unveiled a new power and propulsion system at OTC that they say reduces fuel consumption by controlling engine speed on platform support vessels.

The Variable Frequency Active Front-End power and propulsion system, or VF-AFE, enables ship owners using conventional power system components to lower engine speeds when feasible, cut fuel consumption and reduce emissions and maintenance requirements, the manufacturer claims.

“We are increasing efficiency of existing technology for the benefit of our customers,” says Paul English, marine leader of GE Power Conversion. The VF-AFE system allows the use of conventional power system components (main switchboard drives, etc.), so learning how to operate it is relatively easy, and operators require minimal training.

“Today, when you operate a conventional engine, its speed is always constant, whatever the load,” English says. “So when the load is reduced, you are using more energy than you need because the pistons continue to run at an unnecessarily high speed. This lowers your efficiency. The VF-AFE enables you to recover that lost efficiency.”

When a support vessel is operating in dynamic positioning (DP) mode, the load on the engines is reduced just to counter the effect of wind and waves, but all engines are kept running in order to provide redundancy. This means that if the power from one engine is lost, power is still available from the others to keep the vessel in position. This arrangement while effective is not the most efficient. With VF-AFE, all the engines remain connected, but their speed can be cut when the load is reduced.

“We have made a calculation based on specific operating conditions, assuming a fuel price of $900 per ton,” says English. “We estimate that with the engines loaded at 50% of rated load for a full year on a ship with 8 megawatts of installed power operating for 300 days a year, 24 hours a day, the fuel savings could be up to $300,000 per year.”

The active front end drives more than just the engine. Auxiliaries onboard the vessel still require a fixed frequency, so extra equipment will be needed to convert the variable frequency from the VF-AFE into a fixed frequency. This requires an additional investment by the customer, but even so, GE estimates that the return on the total investment is achieved in less than a year.

The VF-AFE uses a version of GE Power Conversion’s MV 3000 low-voltage drive that has been modified to make it more compact. “This is another example of GE learning from experience and listening to its customers,” says English. “Feedback from customers was that the footprint of the MV 3000 was rather large, so we have acted on their comments. Once again, we are maximizing existing technology. The MV 3000 for the VF-AFE is existing technology, repackaged.”

As with other advanced systems that GE is introducing at OTC, VF-AFE systems will be Visor-enabled, which means that GE engineers will be able to monitor them remotely. “We will use Visor, not only for maintenance purposes for the direct benefit of customers, but also to improve our understanding of the benefits they are getting from VF-AFE, so that we can possibly make further improvements to it,” says English.

GE will build a demonstrator for the VF-AFE at one of its marine technology centers. In the future, this will enable the company to show customers the benefits of DP operation under simulated.

www.gepowerconversion.com

 

Maritime Reporter March 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Technology

When Will Deep Sea Mining Commence? The Robot is Ready

The world's first deep sea mining robot sits idle on a British factory floor, waiting to claw up high grade copper and gold from the seabed off Papua New Guinea

Havyard to Build Hybrid Battery Arctic PSV

Norway's Havyard says it has signed a contract for the construction of a Havyard 833 WE ICE platform supply vessel with Fafnir Offshore HF. The vessel is to be

Offshore Service Vessels Design Innovation

It could be argued that no other sector of the maritime market has experienced a design innovation revolution quite like the Offshore Service Vessel (OSV) market.

New Products

RCH Engineers New Steering System

Rio Controls & Hydraulics (RCH) said it has developed a new steering system by modifying existing inductive sensors used in the oil and gas industry to reach a

MAS Debuts Exclusive Armor Systems

Following on from the continued success of the product, Marine Armor System (MAS) announced its global launch and updated website. MAS is a nonlethal vessel

Ben3D Introduces ContainerTug 600S

Ben3D BV Naval Architecture introduce in collaboration with Oonincx Shipbuilding BV the innovative ContainerTug 600S. A strong, compact Dutch built workboat with

Marine Propulsion

Havyard to Build Hybrid Battery Arctic PSV

Norway's Havyard says it has signed a contract for the construction of a Havyard 833 WE ICE platform supply vessel with Fafnir Offshore HF. The vessel is to be

GE Gas Turbines Power USS America

GE Marine reports that the United States Navy’s future USS America (LHA 6) amphibious assault ship recently completed successful acceptance sea trials powered by two GE LM2500+ marine gas turbines.

Change of Management at Yanmar

Having reached the age of retirement, Geert Jan Mantel will resign from his position as President of Yanmar Europe B.V. as per June 30, 2014, a position he has occupied since April 1, 2002.

Offshore

Shell Commited To Russia Expansion Despite Sanctions

Royal Dutch Shell is committed to expansion in Russia, Chief Executive Ben van Beurden told Russian President Vladimir Putin at a meeting on Friday amid sanctions

Russia Ships First Oil From Offshore Arctic Platform

President Vladimir Putin hailed Russia's first shipment of Arctic offshore oil on Friday, saying the platform decried by environmentalists will help Moscow expand its global energy markets share.

When Will Deep Sea Mining Commence? The Robot is Ready

The world's first deep sea mining robot sits idle on a British factory floor, waiting to claw up high grade copper and gold from the seabed off Papua New Guinea

Marine Power

Havyard to Build Hybrid Battery Arctic PSV

Norway's Havyard says it has signed a contract for the construction of a Havyard 833 WE ICE platform supply vessel with Fafnir Offshore HF. The vessel is to be

NATO to bolster defence of E.European Allies

NATO is sending part of its naval rapid reaction force to the Baltic Sea as part of a drive to step up the defence of eastern European allies in response to the crisis in Ukraine,

Maersk Line named race partner for the Volvo Ocean Race

The world’s largest container shipping company, Maersk Line, is the official shipping partner for the Volvo Ocean Race, the pre-eminent round-the-world yacht race.

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Navigation Pipelines Port Authority Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction
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: 0.1005 sec (10 req/sec)