The worlds first Electronic Bus Link (EBL), developed by Yaskawa Environmental Energy / The Switch, has been successfully commissioned on the North Sea Giant subsea construction vessel. The technology, installed as part of a retrofitted Wärtsilä hybrid solution, connects the 18,151-ton, DP3-class vessels DC hubs, enabling it to conduct operations using one diesel engine instead of three. The Wärtsilä hybrid power system operates in combination with energy producers (diesel generators) and energy storage (batteries), along with the EBL, resulting in improved efficiency, reduced maintenance and emissions, and increased operational flexibility. The EBL connects the vessels DC hubs, while also rapidly disconnecting them in 10 microseconds to isolate potential faults and ensure seamless operations. As such, it provides complete redundancy and guaranteed selectivity between DC hubs, ensuring availability of power and safe ongoing operations. With this system and its successful commissioning, North Sea Giant has become the first construction vessel of this size to run a hybrid system, and the first with DP3-class approval to operate with just one engine and batteries, said Asbjørn Halsebakke, director – technical solutions, marine business, Yaskawa Environmental Energy / The Switch. The savings in terms of fuel, emissions and maintenance are game changing. The final commissioning of the system took place in Haugesund, Norway, in the first half of March. As a result of the new hybrid solution, North Sea Shipping is forecasting estimated annual emission reductions of 5,500,000kg of CO2, 30,000kg of NOx and 1,200kg of SOx.
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.