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Wednesday, July 14, 2021 

Brunvoll has been working with the Vindskip concept - a vessel propelled by a hybrid system operating by wind and LNG - since the start, when the company was asked to suggest a propulsion configuration for the project.

The project needed the lowest possible energy consumption, along with sustainable operation. Brunvoll therefore set out to optimise the hybrid propulsion system to ensure optimum efficiency and energy consumption from the prime movers (LNG), when also considering the wind energy that affects the ship’s sailing. The BruCon control system determines, through weather routing and navigation systems, what is the optimal ship speed to meet the ETA. BruCon finds the optimum propulsion efficiency depending on matching engine output relative to the propeller speed, by ensuring the optimum propeller blade angle and propeller speed to obtain the most economical voyage based on minimum energy consumption.

Vindskip combines wind assistance and hybrid propulsion system based on electric and LNG energy sources powering the propeller via a reduction gearbox. It saves energy by using wind assistance, from optimising the hybrid propulsion system and from the efficient propeller arrangement. The wind contribution leads to reduced power requirements from the installed energy sources on board, and thereby reduces fuel consumption. Further, the hybrid propulsion system allows for operation by the LNG-source, or the electric motor, or by a combination of the two energy sources. This gives an optimum energy consumption, depending on the actual running mode. In addition the propeller system is optimised for smooth running by custom designed propellers with fully adjustable blade angle and an integrated rudder system further increasing the propeller efficiency of the ship.

It is therefore crucial to have a control system that at any condition automatically and steplessly tunes the propeller blade angle and propeller speed to get the most efficient 'grip' in water relative to ship speed, wind energy contribution and draught. The Brunvoll hybrid propulsion system controlled by the intelligent BruCon control system ensures an optimum utilisation of the machinery, leading to high energy efficiency with low emissions to sea and air and ensures a sustainable voyage.

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