As hybrid ships are becoming more popular, technology group Wärtsilä has inaugurated its new Hybrid Centre which it claims as the first of its kind in the world. The facility represents an innovative concept that will enable further development and deployment of the Wärtsilä HY hybrid power module, while at the same time providing customers with the possibility to experience the benefits of the Wärtsilä HY. It will also be used to train crews and provide hands-on experience for technicians. The inauguration ceremony took place on October 17.
The centre, located in Trieste, Italy, is the world’s first real-scale hybrid centre comprising an engine, batteries, power drives, a propeller load simulator utilising an electric motor, a power take off/in motor generator, together with the overall energy management system, the ‘brain’ of the Wärtsilä HY. It will be capable of simulating operational data from the field, which will thus enable optimisation of the hybrid system to reach unprecedented levels.
The investment will, by providing owners and operators the chance to experience and familiarise themselves with the Wärtsilä HY, accelerate the introduction of hybrid technologies to the marine market, thereby boosting the environmental sustainability of shipping. Successful testing has already been carried out on Wärtsilä’s patented electric start-up procedure, utilising the power from batteries to deliver a smokeless start of the main engine.
“Wärtsilä’s Smart Marine approach to delivering greater efficiencies, improved safety, and enhanced sustainability is once again demonstrated with this innovative Hybrid Centre. This unique concept clearly shows the commitment we have to leading the industry towards a cleaner and more cost-effective future,” said Stefan Wiik, Vice President, Marine Power Solutions, Wärtsilä.
In addition to being used to validate hybrid technologies, the centre will also welcome customer groups to learn in very practical terms the technical aspects of the Wärtsilä HY, as well as the value adding benefits it offers. As well as showing the sustainability of future ships, the energy generated by the centre will be fed to the factory grid to provide sustainable power to the company’s production facilities.