Eidesvik Offshore was the world’s first company to have an LNG-powered supply vessel and is now the first to replace one engine with batteries.
“When dual- fuel engine no. 2 had a failure, we had the choice of either replacing it or installing a battery package. Based on our good experiences with Viking Energy, we decided to install an energy storage system onboard Viking Princess,” says Mr Mæhle.
A total Wärtsilä product
The Viking Princess is more or less a complete Wärtsilä product. “When the vessel was built, Wärtsilä delivered the ship design, engines, control systems and the switchboard, so it felt natural to select Wärtsilä as the supplier of our battery system as well,” says Mr Mæhle.
Wärtsilä delivered a 610kWh Energy Storage System (ESS) pre-installed in a container. The package included a battery, transformer, frequency converter, control system and switchboard.
Some minor challenges occurred during the installation, such as with the interface of the vessel’s Power Management and Integrated Automation Systems (PMS/IAS), and when having the battery respond properly during various fault modes, such as over excitation and over speed. “Wärtsilä’s people are highly competent and acted professionally during the project. However, I am also convinced that their competence on energy storage systems further increased during the process.”
Silence is golden
For an engine operator, silence is usually a sign that something is wrong. But when running in battery mode, silence is golden. “The batteries respond extremely well to rapid load changes compared to combustion engines, and these changes are quite normal during Dynamic Positioning operation in rough weather,” says Mæhle.
Mæhle mentions the reduced emissions, fuel consumption and maintenance costs as the most important benefits. “For our Viking Energy, the fuel costs decreased by 17% and the yearly CO2 emissions by 13–18%. The system in the Viking Princess has not been fully operational yet, but we have seen a significant fuel reduction in some modes of operation. This will make the vessel attractive on the market,” concludes Mæhle.