Wärtsilä Launches Medium Voltage Power Drive Technology
Wärtsilä has launched its new Medium Voltage Power Drive. The product will enable the delivery of electro and automation systems for large, electric propulsion vessels, such as drilling rigs and tankers, large passenger and cruise ships, various offshore service vessels, as well as compressors and pumps for the oil & gas industry.
The addition of this medium voltage unit to the low voltage power drive range Wärtsilä has offered since 2005 further enhances the company's total solutions offering to the shipping industry.
Wärtsilä's new Medium Voltage Power drive is especially designed for marine applications, while the previous units in this range were first developed for land-based applications. It has been developed with special attention paid to personnel safety, while the modular design allows easy installation and maintenance. With the new power drive, Wärtsilä will be able to offer medium voltage Low Loss Concept (LLC) solutions with increased efficiency and redundancy, which in turn leads to lower fuel consumption and reduced operating costs. It can also enable the possibility of having less power installed, thus benefiting customers by reducing both capital and operational expenditures.
Development work began in 2009, and has been carried out at Wärtsilä's R&D facilities in Norway. Pilot sales are scheduled to begin this year, with an internal pilot to be installed in early 2013 and an external pilot later in that year.
The Wärtsilä Medium Voltage Power Drive is based on press-pack IGBT (Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor) technology with 3-level PWM inverter control. The modular design has large overload capacity, integrated gate driver boards, and a plug-in bus bar connection.
The unit can be used as a control device in various marine propulsion and thrusters applications, as well as in large fans, pumps, compressors and hoists. Together with Wärtsilä's patented Low Loss Concept, the introduction of this next generation of medium voltage power drives brings increased efficiency and redundancy to the larger marine electric propulsion market. It also has the added benefit of reduced weight and space requirements.
"This product launch emphasizes once again Wärtsilä's position as a total solutions provider to the marine industry. The new power drive is the most compact in terms of space and weight on the market, while the technology is more advanced than anything else currently being offered to the shipping sector. It is one more step in our continued efforts to shorten the route to lower costs and increased profits for our customers," said Juhani Hupli, Vice President, Wärtsilä Ship Power, Technology.