North Sea Giant

Offshore vessel owner and operator North Sea Shipping (NSS) were keen to explore options to make their North Sea Giant subsea construction vessel on the west coast of Norway more competitive while reducing its environmental footprint. In August 2017, Wärtsilä agreed to retrofit the world’s first energy storage solution with an Electronic Bus Link (EBL) module on board the advanced DP3 vessel.

The North Sea Giant is one of the world’s largest and most advanced subsea construction vessels. To add to this, the retrofit, which included new transformers, filters, switchboard, shore connection equipment, upgrades of existing components and commissioning is making the vessel even more efficient and environmentally sound. The reduction in emissions, for example, has been estimated to be 5.5 million kg CO2, 30 tonnes of NOx and 1,200 kg SOx per year. 

“Systems like the one Wärtsilä has developed for us here will be the standard on all our vessels in future, that’s for sure. The industry’s increasing focus on climate change demands it.

Battery solutions on other vessels have been done before, but not on this scale, and not according to this concept”

- SVEINUNG ØKLAND, Operation Manager, North Sea Shipping AS

An installation of an energy storage solution into such a vessel was a world-first and required a redefinition of applicable classification rules. Wärtsilä and NSS worked together in close collaboration with the DNV-GL classification society to solve the issue.

Vessels like the North Sea Giant operate with six diesel engines powering the electrical system on board. With this new retrofit installation, three energy storage units were added to serve as a backup system – the customer can still operate the vessel with all engines, but in addition there will be several megawatts in reserve available from the batteries.

For really efficient operations, they can run with only one engine connected to the grid, along with the battery units. In this way, the batteries will act as a power backup, kickin in to handle low peaks in the systems if additional power for certain operations is suddenly required.

They will also work together with the engines in such a way that allows the engine to be operated at its optimal load level, which of course improves fuel consumption and reduces operating costs and the exhaust emissions as well.


An ocean giant turns green

What happens when you retrofit an energy storage solution to a large offshore supply vessel? Harald Torbjørn...
6 November 2018
  • Twentyfour7. article

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