Viking Lady – safe as well as green

12 Nov 2014
Hybrid OSV ‘Viking Lady’

Hybrid OSV ‘Viking Lady’

DNV GL’s Dr Nikolaos Kakalis, head of strategic research and innovation in Greece, has explained that the battery-hybrid powered offshore supply ship ‘Viking Lady’ is likely to lead the way to a significant improvement in the safety and efficiency of high-risk offshore operations.

Dr Kakalis, speaking to the Greek shipping community at the Greener Shipping Summit – Ships of the Future conference in Athens, presented the results of the FellowSHIP III research and development project, undertaken jointly by DNV GL, ship owner Eidesvik Offshore and power systems supplier Wärtsilä, and co-funded by the Research Council of Norway.

The Viking Lady uses a conventional diesel-electric propulsion system, comprising four dual-fuel engines driving five thrusters for propulsion and manoeuvring/DP. In this project, the ship was originally equipped with a fuel cell, and since then a lithium-ion battery with a capacity of 450 kWh was added – enabling the vessel to use hybrid-electric propulsion. The battery is able to cover the intense load variations that can occur in DP and standby operations.

This effectively increases the propulsion system’s available power and redundancy – which the classification society says increases the level of safety in high-risk operations. This means that the gensets can operate with a relatively constant load and in an optimal way – making operations safer as well as more energy-efficient.

Sea trials on the battery hybrid installation showed that a 15% reduction in fuel consumption, 25% reduction in NOx emissions and 30% reduction in GHG emissions can be realised in practice, especially for DP operations. “Considering that the global fleet of offshore supply vessels of relevant sizes is over 4,000, such technologies have the potential to make an impact when it comes to improving sustainability,” Dr Kakalis noted.

COSSMOS, DNV GL’s in-house computer platform for modelling and simulating complex integrated ship machinery systems, played an important role in FellowSHIP III. COSSMOS provides an early-phase feasibility analysis, estimating the expected benefits in terms of energy efficiency, emissions and economics.

Dr Kakalis explained how advanced simulations and optimisation can direct the implementation of optimal power management strategies to arrive at maximum gains while ensuring the safety and operational capabilities of the vessel. “DNV GL invests 5% of its revenue in research and innovation every year, which is a reciprocal investment to our customers and the industry as a whole, through technology development and better services. In the FellowSHIP series of projects we have invested more than US$2.5 million and we are glad to share such developments that improve safety and sustainability of our industry in practice,” he said.

DNV GL’s research and innovation divisions in Norway and in Greece are working together with shipping companies and manufacturers to realise projects like FellowSHIP. “We went from idea generation through a fusion of innovative scientific approaches to technology development and full-scale testing in a structured and effective way,” said Dr Kakalis.

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