Tankers to benefit from efficiency system

Malcolm Latarche

Malcolm Latarche · 07 February 2020

ShipInsight


Finland-based WE Tech Solutions, an energy efficiency solution provider for the maritime industry, has signed an agreement to deliver an integrated solution to two newbuild product and chemical tankers for Swedish shipowner Donsötank.

The 22,000dwt vessels, currently under construction at China’s Wuhu Shipyard Co. Ltd, will benefit from a solution built around the WE Drive variable frequency drive and Yaskawa Environmental Energy / The Switch’s permanent magnet (PM) shaft generators. The technology delivers lower emissions, significant efficiency gains, and lower operational and maintenance costs for the advanced ice-class 1A tankers.

WE Tech will provide a comprehensive technology package for the sister ships, with delivery starting in spring 2020. Sitting at the heart of the solution, the WE Drive works with the market-proven The Switch PM machines to tailor energy efficiency, production and consumption according to vessel needs.

In the Power Take Out (PTO) mode, the solution allows mechanical energy from the propeller shaft to be converted to electrical energy – the most energy-efficient way to generate power in a vessel. Switching to the Power Take In (PTI) mode enables the technology to convert auxiliary generator power to propulsion power by utilisng the PM shaft generator as an electrical motor. This effectively boosts the propulsion system for demanding operations, such as those in ice-covered water.

“This is both an environmentally friendly and operationally powerful solution,” commented Mårten Storbacka, Managing Director of WE Tech. “In the PTO mode, there is no need to run auxiliary engines and generators when sailing, slashing fuel costs, emissions and saving on maintenance requirements. Switching to PTI allows the vessel to adapt to the most demanding conditions, using the shaft generator as a reliable and economical auxiliary propulsion drive. For a forward-thinking shipowner like Donsötank, with an acknowledged commitment to safe, efficient and low-emission shipping, it is the perfect solution – delivering stable, cost-effective, flexible, and environmentally conscious performance”.

Yaskawa Environmental Energy / The Switch has a long history of working alongside WE Tech as a key supplier. Together, the two have collaborated on a series of deliveries to customers such as ESL Shipping, Saga LNG Shipping, Rederiet Stenersen and Wallenius Shipping, among others.

According to Juha Reinilä, Key Account Manager, Marine, Yaskawa Environmental Energy / The Switch, the latest delivery encapsulates the industry’s current drive to harness innovative technology to deliver benefits for the various stakeholders. “It’s a win-win solution for everyone,” Reinilä explained. “By capturing mechanical energy from the propeller shaft and converting it to green electrical energy for the vessel, OPEX is reduced, emissions are cut, and a new level of energy efficiency can be realized. The customer gains a competitive advantage, society is saved from many tons of pollution, and the industry receives further proof that environmental and commercial sustainability really do go hand in hand.”

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