Electronic Bus Link Installed on North Sea Giant

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

April 15, 2019

(Image: Yaskawa Environmental Energy / The Switch)

(Image: Yaskawa Environmental Energy / The Switch)

An Electronic Bus Link (EBL) has been commissioned on North Sea Shipping's subsea construction vessel North Sea Giant, said manufacturer from Yaskawa Environmental Energy / The Switch.

The technology, a key element in a retrofitted Wärtsilä hybrid solution, connects the 18,151 GWT vessel’s DC-Hubs, providing complete redundancy, enhanced efficiency and significant fuel savings. Thanks to the EBL, the advanced DP3-class vessel can now conduct demanding operations using one engine, instead of the previous standard of three.

“This is a milestone for all the partners involved in this unique, collaborative project, but also for the shipping industry as a whole,” said Asbjørn Halsebakke, Director Technical Solutions, Marine Business, at Yaskawa Environmental Energy / The Switch.

The hybrid power system operates in combination with diesel generators and batteries energy storage, along with the EBL. This allows the vessel’s owner to benefit from improved efficiency and reduced maintenance needs, as well as reduced emissions. Additionally, the hybrid system increases operational flexibility.

“With this system and its successful commissioning, North Sea Giant has become the first construction vessel of this size to run a hybrid system, and the first with DP3-class approval to operate with just one engine and batteries. The savings – in terms of fuel, emissions and maintenance – are game-changing. The EBL is a component that the whole system depends upon,” Halsebakke said.

The EBL connects the vessel DC-Hubs, while also rapidly disconnecting them in 10 microseconds to isolate potential faults and ensure seamless operations. As such, it provides complete redundancy and guaranteed selectivity between DC-Hubs, ensuring ultimate availability of power and safe ongoing operations.

“The technology is now installed, rigorously tested, with supervision from DNV GL, and is already demonstrating its compelling benefits,” said Paul Atherton, General Manager Operation Unit Norway, Yaskawa Environmental Energy / The Switch. “We believe this is the first of many EBLs, and we’d like to thank our partners – shipowner North Sea Shipping and system supplier Wärtsilä – for their collaboration on this groundbreaking project.”

The final commissioning of the system took place in Haugesund, Norway, in the first half of March. North Sea Shipping is forecasting significant environmental benefits from the new hybrid solution, with estimated annual emission reductions of 5.5 million kg CO2, 30,000 kg NOx and 1,200 kg SOx.

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