Wil Sillen's post

Damen's electric ship can charge at offshore wind turbines
By: Teun Schröders

Shipbuilder Damen Shipyards Group is launching an electric ship that can be used for repairs to offshore wind turbines. Interesting detail: the ship can be charged via a cable at wind turbines at sea, comparable to a car at a charging station. The new model makes maintenance of offshore wind farms more sustainable.
After a three-year research period, Damen presented a new type of ship in its fleet this week. A 70-meter-long, fully electric Service Operations Vessel (SOV) should become the new asset for companies responsible for the maintenance of offshore wind turbines.

Charging via the walkway
Damen collaborated with the British MJR Power & Automation to develop the charging system. This company previously built an offshore charging station for cargo ships. For Damen's SOV, MJR uses the function of the gangway that allows the crew to get on and off the ship. This bridge is operated from the wheelhouse. Charging and connecting is done entirely via a control panel. The crew therefore does not have to manually plug a plug into a socket.

Big ships
MJR has developed a 4 megawatt charger suitable for ships up to 70 meters in size. According to Damen, their SOV can be fully loaded within 'a few hours' at a standard offshore wind turbine. MJR also says it wants to make an 8-megawatt charger for larger ships up to 90 meters.

Scarce raw materials
Damen's SOV has a 15 megawatt-hour battery that should be sufficient for a full day of work at sea. For sustainability reasons, Damen opted for a lithium-phosphate battery instead of a lithium battery with nickel, manganese and cobalt. The latter raw materials are scarce and are often extracted under appalling working conditions with harmful consequences for the environment.

First customers
Now that Damen can build the ship, it is important for the shipbuilder to find the first customers who want to reduce their emissions, but also their operating costs. Buyers say they will earn back the ship within 5 to 15 years, depending on different scenarios.

“The product launch of the SOV 7017 E shows that the technology is ready to make offshore activities fully electric," says Mark Couwenberg, product manager of SOV's Damen. "The reduction in OPEX (operational costs, ed.) thanks to the use of energy from wind farms, shows that there is a business case. We cannot do this alone. Collaboration is needed throughout the chain, with shipbuilders, ship operators and wind farm developers working together. Together we can make offshore energy production more sustainable.”


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  • walter lungayi

    18 w

    Interesting development in sustainable maritime transportation!

    2
    • Sarah Chabane

      18 w

      That's super cool!

      4
      • Grace Njeri

        19 w

        Great technology to foster clean energy.

        4
        • Rashid Kamau

          19 w

          Great mind at work to gear-up the needful transition.

          4
          • Munene Mugambi

            19 w

            A great plan where the ship charges offshore and onshore

            8
            • Abraham Jok Atem

              19 w

              This is a super initiative

              9
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