Viking Princess swaps generator for battery

13 Oct 2017
Viking Princess now runs on a combination of a battery pack for energy storage and three LNG-fuelled engines

Viking Princess now runs on a combination of a battery pack for energy storage and three LNG-fuelled engines

The Norwegian vessel ‘Viking Princess’ has become the first ever offshore supply vessel in which batteries reduce the number of generators aboard the ship, after technology group Wärtsilä completed the installation of a hybrid energy system.

Viking Princess completed sea trials and the system was handed over to customer Eidesvik Offshore on 9 October 2017. The new energy storage solution will improve engine efficiency, generate fuel savings and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Viking Princess now runs on a combination of a battery pack for energy storage and three LNG-fuelled Wärtsilä engines. The new energy storage solution provides balancing energy to cover the demand peaks, resulting in a more stable load on the engines. The technology is similar to that used in hybrid vehicles: it prevents the engine load from dipping, and uses the surplus to re-energise the battery, which can be charged as needed. Wärtsilä's remote monitoring and operational advisory services support the daily operation of the vessel ensuring efficient and optimised operations.

There is significant potential to save fuel through improved engine efficiency, as the operating profile of supply vessels is highly variable. When using the installed energy storage system, the fuel saving potential can be up to 30% in various operations and the CO2 emissions can be reduced by up to approximately 13-18% per year, depending on operational conditions and requirements. The hybrid solution will also provide a more optimal load on the engines, while the intervals between engine maintenance can be extended.

The contract to replace one of the four engines with battery power was signed in May.

"Eidesvik and Wärtsilä's partnership dates back to 2003 when our ship, the Viking Energy became the first offshore supply vessel powered by LNG fuel. Now, together, we are again introducing a world's first, with the Viking Princess becoming the first offshore vessel in which batteries reduce the number of generators aboard the ship," said Vermund Hjelland, president technical department, Eidesvik Offshore.

Sindre Utne, manager projects and operations, Wärtsilä Norway, added:  "In addition to the fuel consumption and environmental advantages, the conversion also reduces maintenance costs and contributes to more efficient operations. The success of this project will impact the future of the entire shipping industry."