Volvo Penta and Danfoss Editron team up to power hybrid CTVs

Volvo Penta and Danfoss Editron will be working together to power two hybrid crew transfer vessels (CTVs) set to be launched next summer.

Denmark-based MHO&Co is designing the CTVs for wind farm operator Ørsted. They will incorporate the Volvo Penta IPS propulsion system and Danfoss Editron’s electric propulsion motors and generators to create a hybrid solution that Volva Penta says will deliver ‘maximum uptime, efficiency, and manoeuvrability’.

MHO&Co will be working with Incat Crowther on the design and the vessels will be built by Afai Southern Shipyard in China. The CTVs will serve Ørsted’s Hornsea Two offshore wind farm, which will be from 56 Nm (89 km) to 65 Nm (120 km) off the Yorkshire coast in the North Sea.

The electric propulsion power for the driveline will come from five variable speed Volvo D8 gensets. According to Volvo Penta: ‘The use of variable speed gensets combined with the selectable multi-genset option has major environmental advantages and will ensure high availability resulting in extremely low downtime. Additionally, the smaller D8 units allow for future technologies by replacing one (or more) D8 with fuel-cells or similar when technology allows.’

The hybrid system consists of the Volvo Penta IPS QUAD set-up, where two of the four legs are powered by Volvo Penta D13 diesel propulsion engines and two legs are powered by Danfoss Editron’s electric machines, which are in turn powered by five Volvo Penta D8 variable speed gensets. Additionally, 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.

Both CTVs will be capable of operating in either fully electric or hybrid mode. When cruising to windfarms all four Volvo Penta IPS can be powered, two mechanically and two electrically. In harbour or at the wind farm, there is the option to run the vessels with either battery to the electrical Volvo Penta IPS legs or any combination of 1-5 gensets, depending on weather conditions. It is estimated that this choice of operation is set to save about 127 metric tonnes of CO2 compared to traditional diesel-powered vessels.

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.’

Ian Taylor

Ian Taylor