Hybrids to serve UK offshore wind installations

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Offshore wind farms are providing a potentially lucrative market for manufacturers of hybrid and other low-emission vessels. For example, Danfoss Editron has recently been selected by Danish shipbuilder and operator MHO-Co to deliver the drivetrain systems that will power the UK’s first two hybrid crew transfer vessels (CTV).

The CTVs will serve Ørsted’s Hornsea Two offshore wind farm, which will be located approximately 55 miles off the Yorkshire coast in the North Sea when it enters operation in 2022.

Both of the CTVs will be equipped with a Danfoss Editron serial hybrid system consisting of four propulsion motors. The systems will also include DC-DC converters for the vessels’ batteries. It is anticipated that both of the CTVs, which will be capable of operating in either fully electric or hybrid mode, will save approximately 140 tons of CO2  compared with traditional diesel-powered vessels.

The 35m CTVs will both be capable of carrying 24 passengers and will be fitted with a large lounge area and eight cabins, with the ability to feature an offshore access system on the front deck, enabling the safe transfer of up to six people and cargo to offshore structures. This will eliminate climbing, increase workability and reduce the transfer time from vessel to offshore structure. The vessels are due to be delivered in the second quarter of 2021.

Danfoss Editron marine director Erno Tenhunen said, “This project will open the market for more hybrid CTVs. Previously, the size of electric motors and components were too big for CTVs. Our compact and lightweight technology has overcome this issue, however, and solved the challenge faced by vessel designers, shipyards and end customers. Our system can easily place all hybrid propulsion components into a limited space, plus allows flexibility on battery selection, system concepts and machinery room design.”

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