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 February 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Technology

Navis to Deploy Its N4 TOS to France's Largest Container Terminal

Navis has reached an agreement to deploy its N4 terminal operating system (TOS) to the largest container terminal in France, the company announced today.   The license agreement was with EUROFOS,

New Tool for Recovering Oil from Sunken Wrecks

A tool for removing oil trapped in submerged vessels has been developed in Norway by design specialists Miko Marine.   The launch of the Moskito aims to address

GOST to Unveil New Products at MSE Conference

GOST (Global Ocean Security Technologies),announced today that it will highlight its newest commercial maritime products at the 2015 Maritime Security East conference in Jacksonville,

New Products

New Tool for Recovering Oil from Sunken Wrecks

A tool for removing oil trapped in submerged vessels has been developed in Norway by design specialists Miko Marine.   The launch of the Moskito aims to address

Tennessee Chill Box Expands Industry Reach

Air conditioned respirator supply systems supplier Tennessee Chill Box, LLC (TCB) launched a new air-supply, mask and hood system designed to expand the industry-reach

Caterpillar to Deliver Highest Horsepower Tier 4 Solution

Edison Chouest Offshore has selected Caterpillar Marine's Cat Tier 4 Final C280-16 generator sets for two new vessels, Caterpillar announced today. The generators

Offshore

Maersk Oil Hires Ampelmann Gangway System

After having performed a walk to work (W2W) campaign in the summer of 2014, Motion Compensation Gangways (MCG) developer Ampelmann has again been awarded a contract

Lamprell Delivers Jackup Rig to Greatship

Lamprell announced it has completed construction on jackup drilling rig Greatdrill Chaaru, delivering the rig to Greatship Global Energy Services Pte. Ltd.    Greatdrill

Ensco Announces Cash Tender Offer

Ensco plc announced today that it has commenced a cash tender offer to purchase any and all of its outstanding 3.25% Senior Notes due 2016 (CUSIP No. 29358QAB5).

Marine Power

Gulf of Mexico Sees First LNG-powered OSV

A special Offshore Supply Vessel (OSV) has been delivered to Shell for its deepwater operations in the Gulf of Mexico.   The vessel, Harvey Energy, is chartered

BIMCO Environmental Performance Guide

BIMCO today launched a new, multi-part guidance resource to support ship owners and operators in improving their environmental performance and the efficiency of their ships.

Coastal Interceptors for Kuwait Coast Guard

Following an extensive evaluation protocol, the Kuwaiti Ministry of the interior has placed an order with Tampa Yacht Manufacturing LLC based in Florida – U.

 
 
Maritime Contracts Naval Architecture Navigation Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Repair Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | 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: 0.1932 sec (5 req/sec)