The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has tendered for construction of a diesel-electric hybrid vessel to operate in its New York District, where it will be employed for drift collection and emergency response operations. The vessel will replace the long serving DCV Driftmaster (above) which has been responsible for clearance of navigation channels since its launch in 1948.
With a catamaran hull (used to trap debris) the vessel’s design calls for a 3.4MWh energy storage system (ESS) coupled to a 3,000bhp propulsion system, based around permanent magnet motors, which can provide up to six hours of all-electric operation. The main propulsion will be augmented by a pair of 150bhp bow thrusters. The ESS will supplemented by four Cummins diesel generators.
As part of the initial design program for the vessel, USACE worked in conjunction with Ockerman Automation Consulting to assess likely operational scenarios, utilizing the company’s Marine Electric Propulsion Simulation Laboratory in Newport News, Virginia. According to the company, this work allowed for validation of the proposed propulsion package. The company also harnessed augmented and virtual reality tools to investigate elements such as controls layouts and plant arrangement within the vessel.