Wärtsilä launches new marine drive system

07 Mar 2012
Wärtsilä's new medium voltage drive - specifically for large marine applications

Wärtsilä's new medium voltage drive - specifically for large marine applications

Wärtsilä has announced the launch of a next-generation medium voltage power drive system, targeted at larger marine applications, and which will be offered alongside the company’s existing low voltage marine drives.

Typical applications include electro and automation systems for large, electric propulsion vessels, such as tankers, large passenger and cruise ships, various offshore service vessels including drill ships, as well as oil and gas industry drives. The new medium voltage unit is complementary to the low voltage marine power drive range that Wärtsilä has offered since 2005.

Wärtsilä's previous medium voltage power drives were developed primarily for land-based applications, but the new system is said to be specially designed for marine applications. The company says that 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 equivalent performance with a reduction in installed power, reducing both capital and operational cost.

The Wärtsilä medium voltage power drive is based on IGBT (insulated gate bipolar transistor) technology with three-level PWM inverter control. The modular design offers 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 thruster applications, as well as in large fans, pumps, compressors and hoists. Together with Wärtsilä's LLC technology, the new medium voltage power drives are claimed to bring increased efficiency and redundancy to the larger marine electric propulsion market. The system offers the added benefit of reduced weight and space requirements.

"This product launch emphasises once again Wärtsilä's unique 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," says Juhani Hupli, vice president, Wärtsilä ship power technology.

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