GE’s Power Conversion business recently received a series of new orders from South Korean companies Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering and Hyundai Heavy Industries. The GE equipment will be installed on 23 new LNG ships and represents total propulsion power of 1,105 megawatts.
The scope of GE’s contracts includes MV7000 converters, induction motors, transformers, generators, main and cargo switchboards and propulsion control systems. Manufacturing for all propulsion motors is based in GE’s rotating machines plant in Nancy, France, while the propulsion systems are engineered at the GE merchant marine center of excellence in Belfort, France.
GE’s motors and converter are designed and optimized to make the propulsion systems easy to maintain. The induction machines are driven by press-pack IGBT Pulse Wide Modulation (PWM) converters to offer high levels of reliability in a compact design. GE’s global electric propulsion systems provide customers with high efficiency, availability and layout flexibility.
Traditionally, the propulsion of LNG tankers has been based on boil-off boilers and steam turbines. In recent years, increasing numbers of ship owners have turned to dual-fuel engine systems combined with electric propulsion as more efficient solutions, up to 30% at high loads. Moreover, these solutions increase cargo capacity by 3 to 5% as they enable the ship designer to optimize the equipment layout.
GE’s Power Conversion unit was the first company to equip a full-size LNG carrier with electric propulsion. The order was placed in 2002 for the vessel Gaz de France Energy. This milestone project was followed by a series of orders in 2005 and 2006 for eight large LNG carriers built in Korea. During the next two years, GE was selected to equip the latest generation of LNG carriers with new advanced electric propulsion systems.
Induction motors for the marine industry were developed 15 years ago by GE’s Power Conversion business for the U.S., English and French navies. Today, GE remains the only company with marine applications that combine high-powered induction motors with PWM.
GE Energy acquired Power Conversion (then known as Converteam) in September 2011.