First hybrid crew transfer vessels for UK offshore wind farm

Artist's impressin of hybrid CTV

With the sustainability of the shipping industry increasingly in the spotlight, close scrutiny is inevitable when it comes to the specification of sailing vessels on a major new offshore renewable-energy project. Happily, innovation to tackle both the clean-power agenda and the green-shipping issue has resulted in a UK first.

Danfoss Editron has been selected by Danish shipbuilder and operator MHO-Co to deliver the drivetrain systems that will power the UK’s first two hybrid crew transfer vessels (CTVs).

The CTVs will serve Ørsted’s Hornsea Two offshore wind farm, which will be located approximately 55 miles off the Yorkshire coast in the North Sea when it enters operation in 2022.

A variety of vessels are used during the construction, maintenance and operation of offshore wind farms. Designed to work in the sector exclusively, CTVs are used to transport technicians and other personnel to and from the wind farms.

The CTVs will be equipped with a Danfoss Editron serial hybrid system consisting of four propulsion motors. The systems will also include DC-DC converters for the vessels’ batteries. It is anticipated that both CTVs — capable of operating in either fully-electric or hybrid mode — will save approximately 127 tonnes of COcompared to traditional diesel-powered alternatives.

Both capable of carrying 24 passengers, the 35-metre CTVs will be fitted with a large lounge area and eight cabins. They will also have the option of featuring an innovative offshore access system on the front deck, allowing for the safe transfer of up to six people and cargo to offshore structures. This will eliminate climbing, increase workability and reduce the transfer time from vessel to offshore structure. The vessels are due to be delivered in the second quarter of 2021.

Commenting on the project, Danfoss Editron’s Marine Director Erno Tenhunen, said:

“This project — the UK’s first hybrid CTVs and some of the first anywhere in the world — will open the market for more. Previously, the size of electric motors and components were too big. Our compact and lightweight technology has overcome this issue however and solved the challenge faced by vessel designers, shipyards and end customers.”

As well as being able to place all hybrid propulsion components into a limited space, the Editron system also allows flexibility on battery selection, system concepts and machinery room design.

The multiple system benefits address a number of sustainability issues, affecting both offshore renewables and the shipping industry itself, added MHO-Co CEO Mik Henriksen:

“Working with Danfoss Editron shows that we are at the forefront of the green transition in the industry. These two hybrid vessels naturally fit the offshore wind industry’s own focus on renewable energy, while the electric motors significantly reduce CO2 emissions. In fact, these new CTVs make it possible to eliminate the discharge of particles when idling.”

MHO-Co is a Danish shipping company specialising in service and transport of crew in the offshore wind industry. The company was founded in Esbjerg, Denmark in 2015 by Mik Henriksen, who has many years of experience with catamarans and CTVs. The company has a number of vessels including the twin ships MHO Gurli and MHO Esbjerg, which at 39m long are the world’s largest CTVs.

With operations in Lappeenranta, Finland and Colorado, USA, Danfoss Editron forms part of the global network of Danfoss engineering, dating back to 1933. Still privately held by the founding family, Danfoss today employs 28,000 people, with customers in more than 100 countries.

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