Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency has started operating a tug with a pioneering self-propelled hybrid removable bow for breaking ice in a €7.6M (US$9.2M) scheme
The world’s first hybrid motorised removable bow, powered by Danfoss Editron, was attached to tug Calypso, operated by Finnish owner Alfons Håkans for this European Union co-funded project.
The icebreaker vessel Saimaa is operating out of Mustola harbour in Lappeenranta and has begun breaking ice on Lake Saimaa and the deep waterways of the surrounding area.
ILS Ship Design & Engineering designed this removable icebreaker bow with a maximum length of 25.3 m, moulded breadth of 12.6 m and moulded depth of 3.4 m.
It was delivered by Turku Repair Yard as part of the Winter Navigation Motorways of the Sea II project. It was constructed to enable ice-strengthened vessels to break ice up 80 cm thick to keep key maritime routes open in the northern hemisphere winter.
Danfoss Editron’s hybrid-electric system is powering the removable bow with two generators built as a DC [direct current] system, and two propulsion systems. These are augmented with a front supercapacitor so peak power can be efficiently controlled.
This system is managed through Editron software to reduce fuel and deliver higher efficiencies as the diesel generators in the DC system can be driven at variable speeds.
The removable bow’s power plant and propulsion system are operated from the pusher tug wheelhouse, while the machinery can operate unmanned.
“This new kind of removable bow will make the whole industry more efficient and sustainable, as it will enable virtually any kind of tug to become an icebreaker ship,” said Danfoss Editron project manager Kari Savolainen.
“Our Editron system is easily adaptable for future optimisation and we are eager to learn more about our supercapacitor’s ability to control the peak powers,” he said.
Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency (Väylä) industry line director Juuso Kummala explained the challenges and reasons why icebreaking Saimaa will overcome them.
“Lake Saimaa’s ice is more solid than sea ice and can reach up to 80 cm thick,” said Mr Kummala.
“Developing this innovative design concept for the removable bow and equipping it with its own propulsion system will achieve savings in capital costs, as we will charter the pusher tug for only part of the year. We are also expecting to see savings in fuel consumption thanks to Danfoss Editron’s hybrid propulsion system.”
Introducing hybrid-electric power in icebreaking operations will help Finland meet its target to lower emissions by 40% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels.
Icebreaking technology, tug challenges and hybrid-electric systems will be discussed in depth during Riviera’s series of Webinar Weeks and virtual conferences - use this link to access more details and register for these events