Wärtsilä launches hybrid propulsion module

Integration and optimisation to the fore as Wärtsilä combines engine, electrical and energy management expertise in Wärtsilä Hy Integration and optimisation to the fore as Wärtsilä combines engine, electrical and energy management expertise in Wärtsilä Hy

Wärtsilä has launched a hybrid propulsion product integrating engine, electrical drives, energy storage system and energy management system.

Wärtsilä Hy combines existing products, tuned for optimal performance together. The first version, for vessels with a power demand of 2-4MW, is suitable for tug boats and small passenger vessels. The company will be targeting bigger vessels, to sizes beyond 10MW, with later extensions.

The company also unveiled the first order for Wärtsilä Hy, a new 80 tonnes bollard pull harbour tug for Italian owner Rimorchiatori Riuniti, the biggest operator of tug vessels in the Mediterranean. The equipment will be delivered during the second half of 2018, and the new tug is expected to be in service by the beginning of 2019.

The product is available in three configurations: diesel electric, diesel-mechanical with power take-out/power take-in, and diesel-mechanical with shaft generator/motor. Initially available only for diesel engines, the company plans to include dual-fuel engines at a later stage. Gas burning engines in particular will benefit from battery use to keep the load within a range safe from knocking.

Matteo Natali, technical sales manager, Wärtsilä Marine Solutions, told The Motorship that the Energy Management System was at the heart of the new product, enabling tunings that make the most of the hybrid package. One example is a new start-up function that uses the shaft generator (rather than compressed air) to start the engine. Smokeless operation is also achievable at all load points and in all operating modes thanks to a new, patent pending automation procedure.

“We are selling this as a product, not a system,” said Natali. “We take care of choosing, tuning, delivering, installing and integrating the elements. And the performance of all the elements are guaranteed and stated as one. The key element is the integration itself and the know-how to make the components work together.”

The propeller and shaft are not part of the Hy package, although Natali noted that integrating a Wärtsilä propulsion control system and energy management system would enable greater efficiencies.

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