In response to a tender from Equinor for the Dogger Bank windfarm project, Spanish ship design firm Marcelo Penna Engineering (MPE) has developed a new service operations vessel (SOV) that incorporates battery-hybrid technology – a growing propulsion standard in the renewables sector
“We are delighted to present you our MP625 SOV, on which we have been working for several months,” reported Marcelo Penna Engineering in a social media post. “The design has been developed to fulfill the requests of a very important tender for the future biggest windfarm in the world.”
MPE said the trimaran-hulled SOV would be battery hybrid, with the capability of remaining in DP for up to 12 hours in silent mode.
“As it is needed for long periods at sea, the vessel is equipped with single cabins for technicians, a multimedia meeting room, and recreational areas for after work relaxation as well as a fully equipped gym, warehouse and workshop.” Added the ship designer, “This precise model allows for up to 21 knots of maximum speed while providing full comfort for transfers with up to 3.5 m waves.”
MPE business development director Marcelo Penna Colom confirmed the vessel has a length overall of 64 m, beam of 20 m and a maximum draught of 3.1 m, with accommodation for 20 technicians in single cabins and 15 crew members.
“The workability with the Safeway (motion-compensated gangway system) has proven to be excellent throughout the year, and our MSI regarding discomfort on board is extremely low; never reaching discomfort levels even after 8 hours at sea in the worst conditions,” he said. The vessel platform has also shown to be stable. “Our DP-2 system allows us to remain in position with up to Hs=4m and a constant transfer flow of technicians with up to Hs=3.5m,” he said. The SOV does not require gyro or fin stabilisers.
In terms of propulsion and consumption, MPE has combined a hybrid system including three main engines with a Corvus Energy battery pack.
“With this system, we can reach up to 12 hours of fully electrical DP mode including Safeway and hotel consumptions with the right conditions. The vessel’s batteries can be recharged while sailing inside the wind field and provide a fully electrical harbour operation,” said Mr Penna Colom.
He said batteries will now be a standard in offshore service vessels, especially in the windfarm sector. While fully electric and hydrogen cells are being developed, “hybrid models must be part of the daily fleet in any case,” he said. “We have received other requests for different purposes, like high-speed transfers for the oil and gas sector which cannot rely on hybrid systems as there is practically no need for DP and battery packs would only add weight where you are trying to save it. But,” he added, “this represents a small percentage of the daily needs of the worldwide fleet and hopefully, every year this percentage will decrease, including more fully electric models which are starting to appear everywhere.”