Bow thruster variable drives
Western Canada Marine Response Corp. has made three of its new vessels more efficient thanks to Invertek Drives variable frequency drive (VFD) technology.
WCMRC responds to marine contamination along 27,000kms of coastline using a fleet of dedicated vessels equipped with specialized equipment and teams to minimise the impact and to contain any contamination.
WCMRC’s newest pollution control vessels the Gulf Sentinel, Strait Sentinel and the Coastal Sentinel, have recently been commissioned at ASL Shipyard, Singapore.
The three vessels have been fitted with Invertek Drives Optidrive P2 55kW and 75kW VFD, a type-approved by DNV Classification Society for their bow thruster and winch controls.
The system was supplied by Invertek Drives Far East Pte Ltd. The scope of supply includes thruster control, electric motor, control panels, commissioning and sea trial.
Being an environmentally conscious organisation, WCMRC has opted for green technology for their thruster and winch control in contrast to less efficient hydraulic systems often used for bow thruster control.
“The installation and commissioning of the electric system, controlled by the Optidrive P2, enhances the manoeuvrability of the vessel, the control of the thrusters is much more accurate and precise,” said Henry Beh, General Manager of Invertek Drives Far East Pte Ltd.
“Additionally, the electrical thruster system is more energy efficient and easy to maintain, there is no problem with hydraulic oil or contaminants leaking at hose connectors and valves.”
The Optidrive VFD has much lower starting current of motor, compared to traditional starting methods, thus allowing for optimum sizing of vessel power generation system, to further enhance fuel efficiency.
Matthew Mylemans, project manager at WCMRC said they wanted to make their vessels more efficient while also ensuring they are less of a risk of the environment through the improvements of transferring from hydraulics to electric: “The inclusion of the Optidrive P2 has ensured very smooth speed adjustment of the motors which is important for manoeuvrability, especially important in situations where a response is being undertaken to lay booms and other work to contain contamination.
“The 100 per cent efficiency of the thrusters is a great result and we’re looking forward to adding this green technology to the fleet.”
By Jake Frith
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