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Monday, October 19, 2020 

In close collaboration with electrification specialist Danfoss Editron, Volvo Penta is powering two hybrid vessels which are due to be launched in summer 2021, combining Volvo Penta IPS integrated electric inboard propulsion with D8 gensets, D13 diesel propulsion engines and advanced vessel management systems.

Danish company MHO&Co has designed two hybrid crew transfer vessels (CTVs) for wind farm operator Ørsted using Volvo Penta IPS and Danfoss Editron electric propulsion motors and generators, with the companies collaborating on an advanced hybrid solution with maximum uptime, efficiency, and manoeuvrability.

Peter Granqvist, CTO Volvo Penta, said: “At Volvo Penta, we are always striving for innovative and sustainable solutions to customers’ challenges. One of the best ways to advance our technology is to take on these bold projects and work collaboratively with other technology leaders. This project is teaching us a lot about experimental technical solutions, and we are excited to see the outcomes and learn more. As a pilot project, this system is not immediately for sale.”

The 35m CTVs, designed by MHO&Co in cooperation with Incat Crowther, will be built by Afai Southern Shipyard in China. They will carry 24 crew and will include a large lounge area and eight cabins. They will serve Ørsted’s Hornsea Two offshore wind farm, in the North Sea.

Five variable speed Volvo Penta D8 marine gensets in a selectable multi-genset configuration will ensure high availability and low downtime. Using smaller D8 units will allow for future technologies by replacing one (or more) D8 with fuel-cells or similar when technology allows.

The quadruple Volvo Penta IPS installation will employ two units driven directly by D13 diesel propulsion engines with the other two legs powered by Danfoss Editron electric motors, supplied through the five D8 gensets. A battery pack will be installed to support peak-shaving and to allow the vessels to operate in fully electric mode at low speed, and during long stationary periods.

Erno Tenhunen, Marine Director, Danfoss Editron said: “This project will open the market for more hybrid CTVs. Previously, the size of electric motors and components were too big for CTVs. Our compact and lightweight technology has overcome this issue and solved the challenges faced by vessel designers, shipyards, and end customers. Our system, in combination with Volvo Penta’s compact drivelines and gensets, makes installation easy, even in a limited space. Plus it allows flexibility on system concepts and machinery room design.”

The vessels will be commanded by Volvo Penta controls and the EVC system (Electronic Vessel Control System), which communicates to the D8 gensets as well as the Danfoss Editron ECS. The ECS calls off genset power and/or battery power automatically, or when ordered from the captain's HMI-display.

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