When Dutch supplier Royal IHC sought to decarbonize its range of Beaver cutter suction dredger (CSD) ships, it turned to motors and drives manufacturer WEG. Royal IHC opted to develop an all-new fleet of electrically powered Beaver CSD vessels. But to power them, it needed a high-performance electric motor that suited the Beaver’s technical specifications – WEG’s WGM20 water jacket-cooled motor.
Royal IHC delivered the very first Beaver ship in 1963. The vessel has become known for its robust construction, reliability, versatility and high performance, and has been used in various dredging projects worldwide, including land reclamation, deepening of waterways and excavation of harbors and channels. Traditionally, these vessels are powered by diesel engines.
Royal IHC’s Beaver E is a fully electric version of the standard Beaver and has been designed to match its diesel predecessor’s levels of performance.
The dredge pump of each vessel – a system essential to the dredging process – is to be powered by an electric motor. By creating a vacuum, the system pumps water and sediments from the seabed into the vessel’s hold for transportation. This makes motor selection a key part of vessel specification.
Technical specifications included a specific power rating, rotational speed, cooling system, insulation class, and a level of protection against environmental factors such as humidity and seawater. Other factors to consider include the motor’s size, weight and overall efficiency, as well as its compatibility with the vessel’s power supply and control systems. Royal IHC called on WEG’s engineers to determine the best solution for this application and, after consideration, the WEG team specified the WGM20 water jacket-cooled motor.
The WGM20 is a high-performance electric motor ideal for marine, offshore and heavy-duty industrial applications. Its design meets or exceeds IE4 efficiency requirements for electric motors, established by the IEC.
The design of the WGM20 includes advanced cooling technology that optimizes heat dissipation and reduces energy losses, consumption and operating costs. In addition to efficient heat dissipation, the motor’s high starting torque, low vibrations and a compact design suit demanding environments. Motor durability is enhanced by resistance to water and corrosion. This also makes the motor suited for pumps in offshore environments.
“This motor not only provides the required power for the dredge pump but was also provided with a service and maintenance package,” said Robbert Vlekke, development sales manager for high voltage and medium voltage solutions at WEG. “We’re responsible for providing total care for the motor during the storage period until it is installed in the Beaver, as well as providing complete onboard storage and service until commissioning. This service ensures that the motor is in good condition, and ready to use when it is installed on the dredge ship.”
WEG was chosen for its interaction with Royal IHC during the quotation phase, which demonstrated WEG’s ability to understand the customer’s needs.
“Royal IHC and WEG have developed a close partnership based on their understanding of each other’s needs,” continued Vlekke. “WEG has service locations all around the world, which makes it possible for Royal IHC to receive support wherever its dredging ships are located.
“This close partnership, and WEG’s ample experience supplying motors to other electrified shipping projects, has allowed our team to fully understand the risks and challenges faced by Royal IHC, making it possible for them to provide a complete solution that meets all of the requirements.”
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