Tech Files: Offshore Power Products


Insights on innovative power products upgrades that could be used to keep offshore operations moving along effectively, efficiently.

  • Maersk Supply Service/Orsted power buoys

Danish offshore vessel firm Maersk Supply Service and its compatriot offshore wind developer Ørsted, are testing an innovative charging buoy that can bring green electricity to offshore wind farm service vessels and potentially to a wide range of maritime vessels.

The buoy could be used to charge the smaller battery- or hybrid-electrical vessels and to supply power to larger vessels, enabling them to turn off their engines when laying idle. By substituting fossil-based fuels with green electricity, virtually all emissions would be eliminated while the buoy is in use.

The prototype buoy has been developed by Maersk Supply Service while Ørsted is responsible for the buoy's integration with the electrical grid at the offshore wind farm. The charging buoy will be tested in the second half of 2021, where it will supply overnight power to one of Ørsted's service vessels.

Ørsted plans to make any intellectual property generated in designing the integration of the buoy into the offshore wind asset publicly available to maximize the uptake potential of this carbon reduction innovation across the offshore wind sector.

  • Saft - Plug-and-play nickel battery upgrade

Battery company Saft has launched a new range of nickel batteries so that offshore operators can cut maintenance. The Compact range is designed as a drop-in replacement for existing lead-acid backup batteries. Unlike other nickel batteries, they have the same charging arrangements and fit easily inside the same footprint as lead-acid batteries.

As a result, offshore operators will benefit from the nickel batteries' 20-year life and zero maintenance requirements. This compares with lead-acid's life of seven years with regular testing. The batteries are designed for essential control systems and other critical equipment in remote and hard-to-access installations.

Image: Saft

  • Odfjell Drilling/Oceanwind: Zero-emission offshore drilling powered by floating wind turbines?

Norwegian offshore drilling contractor Odfjell Drilling has invested in Oceanwind, a developer of harsh environment floating wind turbines, which is planned to enable zero-emission offshore drilling.

"Developing solutions to connect our rigs to offshore wind installations is one possible road to zero emission drilling. With ownership in Oceanwind, we are well-positioned to make it a reality," says Per Lund, EVP Technology & Sustainability of Odfjell Drilling.

  • PARAT Halvorsen

A new multi-fuel Combined Steam Boiler from Norwegian supplier PARAT Halvorsen adds Shore Power to power source optimization options to maximize flexibility for seagoing and offshore assets.

The compact unit’s flexible configuration can also cut emissions, provide additional electrical back-up during vessel operation, and enable vessels to use more sustainable and emission-free shore power where it is available in port.

The MCS boiler, with smoke tubes, is available in vertical or horizontal configurations, in 400V, 440V or 690V versions. Operators of existing vessels with combined boilers systems can also upgrade to the PARAT ECS Electrical Circulation Steam boiler.  
Image: PARAT Halvorsen

  • ABB solution for world’s largest diamond recovery vessel

The power system package on board the world’s largest diamond recovery vessel includes ABB’s state of the art solution for operational continuity for specialised offshore ships. The new vessel is due delivery in 2022 to De Beers venture Demarine Namibia from Romania’s Damen Shipyards Mangalia. 

In addition to power generation, distribution and variable speed drive propulsion systems, ABB’s solution includes a large online double-conversion marine uninterruptible power supply (MUPS) to support vital control processes, cutting the risk of critical power loss and downtime. ABB’s MUPS ensures power backup for the of the subsea-crawler and processing plant.

  • FLASC - Non battery based energy storage

Start-up FLASC B.V. is pioneering the development of non-battery based energy storage solutions for the offshore sector. FLASC’s patented Hydro-Pneumatic Energy Storage (HPES) concept combines pressurised seawater with compressed air to create an efficient, large-scale energy storage device that can be applied across a wide range of offshore applications. The company has recently teamed up with Subsea 7 to bring the tech further, targeting a number of use-cases: from conventional grid-connected wind farm applications to decarbonization initiatives in the offshore oil and gas sector.

Image: FLASC/Subsea 7

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