Plans to install battery power on board 10 OSVs will include the first tri-fuel vessels and first MPSV operating in North America, writes ABS director, global offshore, market sector lead Dr Wei Huang
Already known as one of the most innovative offshore vessel operators in North America, US-based OSV owner Harvey Gulf International Marine (HGIM) has continued to push the envelope of sustainable, efficient operations, with plans to equip 10 ships in its fleet with battery power.
HGIM has completed the sea trails of Harvey Energy, a hybrid ‘tri-fuel’ vessel The remaining four of its LNG-fuelled platform supply vessels (PSVs) Harvey America, Harvey Liberty, Harvey Power and Harvey Freedom will be installed with the battery systems to join the tri-fuel vessel fleet.
Battery power is being fitted onto the company’s PSV Harvey Champion. Additional battery systems will be installed on sister vessel Harvey Supporter, as well as Harvey Hawk and Harvey Condor which were designed by naval architectural firm Technology Associates Inc (TAI), New Orleans and built by ThomaSea Marine Constructors, LLC, Houma, Louisiana.
The multipurpose support vessel Harvey Subsea will also be fitted with two battery systems, making it the only dual-fuel battery-powered MPSV in the Americas.
The installations meet ABS class requirements with the first vessel, Harvey Energy becoming the first ABS-classed dual-fuel (LNG/marine diesel) and battery vessel and the first US-flagged OSV equipped with a battery/converter system.
Harvey Energy was the first vessel in North America to be powered primarily by LNG, serving Shell’s deepwater offshore operations in the Gulf of Mexico since 2015.
The 5,312-dwt vessel is powered by three Wärtsilä 6L34DF dual-fuel gensets providing 7,530 kW (10,100 hp) fuelled by Wärtsilä’s LNGPac system, a complete fuel gas handling system for LNG vessels. Harvey Gulf subsequently contracted Wärtsilä to supply its 1,450-kW battery hybrid solution, comprising energy storage and management, transformer and drive, all mounted inside a single container for the refit.
Wärtsilä’s hybrid battery solutions are based on a ‘first-of-its kind’ fully integrated hybrid power module. This combines engines, an energy storage system using batteries, and power electronics optimised to work together through an innovative, proprietary energy management system.
The solution marks a new benchmark in marine hybrid propulsion and promises a considerable reduction in emissions.
HGIM selected ABS to certify the installation based its considerable experience in hybrid energy solutions and the two worked closely on the successful integration of the lithium-ion battery into the hybrid power systems aboard Harvey Energy.
ABS provided several key reviews and verifications, including reviewing test reports, specifications and safety features to assess compliance with requisite rules and standards and review of structural documentation on the battery container for compliance. ABS also witnessed testing of converters that transform battery voltage to the ship system voltage.
Reviews were completed of technical documentation for structural, electrical, fire suppression, HVAC, safety system and the testing of system batteries, convertors, transformers and HVAC units. Technical documentation was also reviewed regarding the installation of the container on board, covering stability calculations, structural and electrical drawings.
ABS reviewed the modification of the switchboard drawings for the hybrid system and the overall integration with existing ship systems, and attended the onboard testing and full power trials.
HGIM anticipates that the installation of the Wartsila system, which has achieved the ABS class notation ESS-LiBATTERY, will significantly enhance the efficiency and environmental performance of Harvey Energy.
“Running Harvey Energy on LNG fuel for five years, we found we could reduce our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 9-24% which is great, but it doesn’t get you where you need to be for 2050. Reducing GHG emissions is difficult but it’s possible if you can layer-in technologies in multiple ways,” explained HGIM executive vice president Chad J Verret.
“So that’s our approach," said Mr Verret. "First the shift from liquid fuels to LNG, then moving into battery power to further reduce emissions. We are moving towards closed bus DP2 operations where we reduce engine hours and the free spinning reserve which is going up the exhaust stack. Together with operational procedures where we ramp power up and down slowly, we can reduce emissions by 40% and the next stage is synthetic or bio LNG or bio diesel, with further potential GHG lifecycle reductions.”
Through projects like this, ABS continues to deliver industry-leading guidance for the safer development, deployment and integration of hybrid power systems that enhance efficiency gains and environmental performance for marine and offshore assets.
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