The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has tendered for construction of a diesel-electric hybrid vessel to operate in its New York District, where it will be employed for drift collection and emergency response operations. The vessel will replace the long serving DCV Driftmaster (above) which has been responsible for clearance of navigation channels since its launch in 1948.
With a catamaran hull (used to trap debris) the vessel’s design calls for a 3.4MWh energy storage system (ESS) coupled to a 3,000bhp propulsion system, based around permanent magnet motors, which can provide up to six hours of all-electric operation.
The Royal Netherlands Navy’s (RNN) latest combat support ships (CSS) will utilize a hybrid propulsion system provided by General Electric’s (GE) Power Conversion arm. According to the company, its technology was selected for its low noise signature, high level of reliability and commonality with equipment on the RNN’s existing joint support ship (HNLMS Karel Doorman).
With a key concern for naval ships being underwater radiated noise, strict noise and vibration levels were imposed on the propulsion system. To meet these demands, GE states that the use of pulse width modulation (PWM) voltage source inverters feed robust, high-torque density induction motors, help to reduce the acoustic signature of the vessel.
The first Chinese-built hybrid emergency rescue vessel, the Shenhai 01, has been delivered by Huangpu Wenchong Shipbuilding to the Shenzhen Maritime Safety Administration (MSA).
The 78m vessel will be deployed to provide emergency responses at sea and carry out rescue operations. It can be run on batter power for up to three hours of operations, which, says the MSA, is invaluable for rescue operations conducted in areas affected by hazardous gas.
“We are very proud to contribute to this benchmark project,” said Alf Kåre Ådnanes, general manager of ABB Marine & Ports China, which supplied its Azipod propulsion system for the vessel, consisting of motors, ESS and control systems.
Sailing vessels may elicit visions of tall ships plying the trade routes of the 19th century, but if a consortium consisting of Swedish firm Wallenius Marine, the KTH Centre for Naval Architecture and marine technology developer SSPA has its way, wind power may be making a comeback.
The Oceanbird concept is a 200m-long and 40m-wide cargo vessel that features a hybrid concept of wing sails and clean power, which it is claimed will be able to cross the Atlantic in 12 days, carrying 7,000 cars and trucks. The wing sails are 80m tall, giving the ship a height above water line of approximately 105m.
Skeleton Technologies, a specialist in graphene-based ultracapacitor energy storage, has announced a partnership with the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany, to complete the development of its SuperBattery, a graphene battery with a claimed 15-second charging time. The company says that the fast charging time is coupled with charging cycles counted in hundreds of thousands.
The key to this impressive performance, the company says, is Skeleton’s patented Curved Graphene carbon material, which it states enables the high power and long lifetime of ultracapacitors to be applied in a graphene battery.
Skeleton Technologies’ CEO, Taavi Madiberk, commented, “Cooperation between European energy storage companies is key for the EU to be a global leader in energy storage.
Marine and industrial diesel engine specialists Prior Power Solutions recently announced an MoU with the UK’s Manchester Metropolitan University. The agreement will see the company undertake research and development into hydrogen-injected diesel engines and hydrogen fuel cell technology, in conjunction with the university’s hydrogen fuel cell technology center.
Professor Andy Gibson, pro-vice chancellor of the Faculty of Science and Engineering at Manchester Metropolitan, commented on the announcement, “We’re excited about developing this partnership with Prior Power Solutions and look forward to progressing to the next stage, focusing on developing transnational research where hydrogen fuel cells can be effective in helping organizations bridge the zero carbon innovation gap.”
According to the company, it is already conducting research and development into cleaner diesel Stage V engines, hydrogen fuel cells, electric motors and hybrid power systems, combining renewable energy sources such as photovoltaics and wind with engine generators.
With a team of 21 people including mechanical and electrical engineers, fluid dynamicists and a Formula 1 powerboat driver, Italy-based Sealence is hoping to revolutionize marine propulsion systems with its DeepSpeed system.
To date, the company has raised over €3m (US$3.5m) in funding, from both traditional investors and crowdfunding, while also being awarded a seal of excellence by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 program. Reinforcing its growth credentials, the company has already hired eight extra staff in 2020, despite the global downturn due to Covid-19 measures.
The DeepSpeed system looks more like an aircraft’s jet engine than a boat motor, and inside the sleek cowling is a unique impeller system (which the company has patent protected) driven by a permanent magnet, synchronous motor, also developed in-house.
Siemens is to hold an online seminar covering current trends in marine electrification and highlighting what it views as best practices for designing and optimizing the performance of rotating electric motors.
It notes that the current trend toward reduced shipping emissions has created increased opportunities for electric power solutions. However, marine motors must fulfill strict safety and efficiency requirements and the company says its seminar will address these challenges and specifically, the role digital twinning has to play in the design process.
A digital twin approach creates a virtual prototype of the complete electric system, including the motor.