Thoma-Sea Marine Constructors has awarded Siemens Energy with a contract to supply the power, propulsion, control systems and battery storage technology for two research vessels.
The new ships – called the Oceanographer and the Discoverer – will be acquired by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Both ships will be equipped with SiSHIP Blue Drive PlusC advanced diesel-electric propulsion systems and BlueVault battery storage solutions. These technologies will enable the NOAA to optimize loading on variable-speed diesel engines, resulting in fuel savings and a reduction in maintenance and emissions.
Compared with vessels with traditional fixed-speed diesel engines of similar size and operating profile, the technology is estimated to deliver fuel savings of 15,000 gallons (68,191 liters) per year for each vessel – equating to a reduction of approximately 5,700 tons of CO2.
To date, the SiSHIP Blue Drive PlusC diesel propulsion technology has been installed on over 80 marine vessels around the globe.
The NOAA vessels are scheduled to enter operation in 2024 and 2025 respectively and will be used to support a range of missions including general oceanographic exploration, climate and ocean ecosystem studies and worldwide ocean survey and data collection. Each ship will carry a crew of 20 people and can accommodate up to 28 scientists.
“The NOAA NAV Variant is truly the result of an intense, collaborative effort by the Thoma-Sea Marine team, analyzing and implementing the best solutions brought by the shipyard, our design agent (TAI), Siemens Energy, and others,” said Walter Thomassie, managing director of Thoma-Sea Marine Constructors. “As the first shipyard to install and commission the Siemens Energy Blue Drive PlusC advanced diesel-electric propulsion systems in the United States, Thoma-Sea immediately recognized Siemens Energy was able to optimize the system according to our specifications to further enhance the vessel’s capabilities and efficiencies.”
“TAI Engineers worked closely with Thoma-Sea Marine and Siemens Energy to develop, for the government, an optimal vessel design with superior performance,” commented Anil Raj PE, president and chief engineer, TAI Engineers. “The Siemens Energy installation helped in providing an ideal solution to maximize the vessel’s endurance, reduce fuel consumption and minimize its carbon footprint.”