The technology group Wärtsilä has signed an agreement with Eidesvik Offshore to install a hybrid system with batteries on board of its vessel Viking Princess. The ship will become the first offshore supply vessel in which batteries reduce the number of generators on board. The new energy storage solution will improve engine efficiency, generating fuel savings and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Viking Princess provides supplies to oil rigs in the North Sea and Barents Sea. The 5-year old vessel runs on four LNG-powered Wärtsilä engines. Depending on the ongoing task and weather conditions, the engine load varies between 90% and 20%.
The new energy storage solution replaces one of the vessel’s four generators and can provide balancing energy to cover the peaks, resulting in a more stable load on the engines. In essence, the technology is similar to that in hybrid cars: it keeps the engine load from dipping and re-routs the surplus to charge a battery, which in turn can fill in when needed.
As the operating profile of supply vessels is very variable, there is significant potential for fuel savings through improved engine efficiency. In the dynamic positioning mode, when the battery is used as power redundancy and the engine runs at its most efficient load, the fuel saving potential is 30%. Consequently, the Viking Princess may cut CO2 emissions by 13–18% per year, depending on the operating conditions.
Enova SF, a Norwegian state enterprise, owned by the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy (MPE) supported the project with 6.5 million Norwegian crowns (US$774,000) to accelerate sustainable energy production in the maritime sector. Wärtsilä will install the new hybrid system in September 2017.