This ain’t no Prius.
The newest addition to Haugesund-based Østensjø Rederi’s fleet carries a very unique hybrid power system based around a matrix of sophisticated lithium batteries from Vancouver-based Corvus Energy. Built at Astilleros Gondan in Spain in 2012 and delivered to Østensjø Rederi in 2013, Edda Ferd is an example of the new breed of highly efficient offshore support vessels (OSVs) currently being deployed around the world.
“Our internal tests have been impressive, with quick charge rates and superior flexibility,” notes Johannes Østensjø, owner of Østensjø Rederi.
For dynamically-positioned (DP) ships like the Edda Ferd, power requirements to keep the vessel precisely on station can fluctuate greatly, requiring the main power plant to ramp up and down to meet this demand. For diesel engines which operate most efficiently at high power, this means that while on station, the engines are, on average, operating outside of their most efficient power range.
On board the Edda Ferd however, Corvus Energy’s AT6500 battery modules can deliver burst outputs up to 2 megawatts to supply the needed energy to keep the ship on station. Meanwhile, a reduced number of her MaK engines remain operating at optimum power level to charge the battery bank and provide base load power.
Additionally, because battery power is always available when needed, it provides an extremely responsive system and greater ability for DP-equipped vessels to remain on station. The result, according to Corvus, is decreased fuel consumption by up to 25%, maintenance reductions close to 30% and emissions reductions up to 75%.
In a conversation last month with Trevor Small, Vice President at Corvus Energy, he notes that one of the historical reasons why batteries have not been widely used in this manner aboard ships in the past is the fire danger that they pose. If you line up a bunch of lithium batteries together and one catches fire, then most likely the entire system would burn up.
After years of research and testing, Corvus Energy has been able to completely mitigate this issue within their system. In addition, should one battery fail or not provide the needed power, the monitoring system will alert the operator to the faulty battery so that it can be changed out without affecting the rest of the system. In short, if one battery fails, the others will take up the load until the battery can be replaced.
At 92.6 meters in length and 4,850 gross tonnage, Edda Ferd is a real working vessel capable of servicing offshore rigs in all conditions. Versatile in design, she may be used for a variety of purposes including the bulk transport of typical platform supply cuttings and liquids, tubulars and tools, or she may be converted to accept living quarters modules for up to 60 personnel.
Edda Ferd is currently under contract to Shell UK providing support for North Sea operations.