Suppliers of Ekofish’s new diesel-electric fishing vessel announced

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Pon Power and EST-Floattech have been selected as suppliers for a hybrid fishing vessel being developed for Ekofish Group, a family-run sustainable fishery business based in Urk, Netherlands. Pon Power will supply the vessel’s generator sets and EST-Floattech will provide its energy storage solution. The UK205 Spes Nova twin rigger/flyshooter, which is scheduled for delivery in early 2019, is currently under construction by Maaskant Stellendam and is being developed in collaboration with Vripack naval architects. The hybrid vessel will be fitted with three identical diesel-electric Caterpillar C18 generator sets coupled to a power management system and lithium-ion battery. An energy regeneration system has also been developed for functions such as unspooling the winches when setting out nets. According to Louwe de Boer, owner of Ekofish, the ship will have to work for the next 20 years and use as little energy as possible. “At the moment, we’re still burning a half liter of fuel per kilo of fish caught, and we have to bring that down to a maximum of 0.3 liters. To reach that goal, we deliberately chose not to chart a course with the same old ship or trawler architects.” Speaking about the specifics of the propulsion system, Noud Seegers, marine business account manager at Pon Power, added, “We looked at several options for the power supply in the early stages of the development process. We eventually chose three identical C18 generator sets with a capacity of 565kWe at 60Hz, plus a C4.4 ACERT harbor set providing 99kWe at 50Hz.” Furthermore, as the generator sets are coupled to a power management system with batteries, the skipper can start with a different generator set each week. “Whenever he needs more power, he can call on a second or third generator set,” said Seegers. “And when the vessel falls under a certain load factor, one of the generator sets shuts off automatically. “This system allows us to make optimal use of the generator sets, in combination with the batteries. This means each individual engine has fewer running hours per year, which makes it maintenance-friendly and helps cut costs. It also helps conserve fuel – we don’t have any influence on the price of fuel, but we do have a say in how much we burn!” concluded Seegers. Another benefit of this propulsion system is that the battery system can store electricity regenerated when the winches are unspooled to set out the nets. It will also emit less CO2 and use less fossil fuel as the batteries can be used to compensate for peak load. “A ship’s engine operates most efficiently at loads of around higher than 50%,” said Koen Boerdijk, account manager at EST-Floattech. “By using the batteries, you allow the engines to operate more efficiently within its optimal power band. Plus, you can use fewer engines, or smaller ones. “When operating under electric power, as is the case when docked or sailing in harbor, you don’t use any fuel at all, and you emit no emissions,” added Boerdijk. “The batteries are also maintenance-free, so there are plenty of plus points, and we’re very proud of this project.”

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Dean has been with UKi Media & Events for over a decade, having previously cut his journalistic teeth writing and editing for various automotive and engineering titles. He combines extensive knowledge of all things automotive with a passion for driving, and experience testing countless new vehicles, engines and technologies around the world. As well as his role as editor-in-chief across a range of UKi's media titles, he is also co-chair of the judging panel of the International Engine of the Year Awards.

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