Damen’s first hybrid at ITS

Damen hosted the opening reception at ITS with a visit from the ‘Bernardus’
Damen hosted the opening reception at ITS with a visit from the ‘Bernardus’
‘Bernardus’ is the first Hybrid variant of the Damen ASD 2810. (photo courtesy - Jan Plug)
‘Bernardus’ is the first Hybrid variant of the Damen ASD 2810. (photo courtesy - Jan Plug)

The arrival of the tug ‘Bernardus’ in the Dutch port of Ijmuiden on Monday the 2nd of June marked an important milestone for both the owners (Iskes Towage & Salvage) and builders (Damen Shipyards). ‘Bernardus’ is the first Hybrid version of the well-established Damen ASD 2810 design to be completed at the Damen Galati shipyard.

Visitors to the recent ITS 2014 Convention in Hamburg were treated to demonstration trips and a close inspection of the tug. With the exception of the hybrid propulsion system and some customisation required by the owner, this tug is very little different to the standard diesel powered ASD 2810, of which over 170 have been sold around the world. Bernardus measures 28.67m in length overall with a maximum beam of 10.43m, a depth of 4.38m and draft aft of 5.15m. The design and construction meets the requirements of Lloyds Register +100 A1 Escort Tug(*)LMC UMS IWS for use under the Dutch flag.

Bernardus is powered by a ‘diesel direct – diesel electric- battery’ hybrid propulsion system enabling the tug-master to choose the mode of operation depending on the task in hand. At the heart of this propulsion system is a pair of MTU 16v4000M63R diesel main engines capable of generating a total of 3680 bkW (4936 bhp) at 1600 rev/min. Each main engine is coupled to a Rolls Royce US 205 fully azimuthing propulsion unit.

Located in each shaft-line is an ABB M3LP459 250 bkW, water-cooled, electric motor/generator incorporating a main shaft capable of transmitting the main engine’s full torque to the propulsion unit. This arrangement enables the main engines to drive the propulsion units when high power settings are needed, or the units to be powered by the motors using current from the batteries or the main generator when less power is required.

A third MTU diesel, a 12v 2000 M41B, powers the main propulsion generator rated at 800kVA 400v 60Hz to supply power for propulsion and battery charging. When required this engine also powers a Jason 250x350 OGF centrifugal fire pump delivering a maximum of 1200 cu/m/min of water to a pair of short barrel monitors mounted forward of the wheelhouse. All three MTU engines are fitted with: diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC) + diesel particulate filtration (DPF) + selective catalytic reduction (SCR) exhaust gas treatment systems meeting Tier III requirements.

The choice of MTU diesel engines in the new hybrid vessel is significant. Bernardus is the first Damen built tug to use MTU equipment but Damen is working closely with MTU on engines for use in tugs and other vessels, including the possibility of using an LNG fuelled variant at some time in the future.

Also located in the engineroom is a single Caterpillar powered C4.4 generator for emergency and ‘stand-by’ use, rated 107 kVA at 230/400V–50 Hz, to supply the vessel systems and domestic loads.

Another critical component of the ‘hybrid’ propulsion system are two Valence Lithium-Ion battery-pack each with a capacity of 120 kWh. The batteries are housed in an air-conditioned compartment and can be charged by the MTU diesel generator, the motor/generators in the shaft-line when the main engines are running, or from shore power when alongside.

The tugmaster can choose the best mode of propulsion for the task in hand by means of a simple ‘four-position’ selector switch marked; Harbour – Free Sailing – Towing -- FiFi (fire-fighting). This system results in a significant reduction in fuel consumption of 10-30% and 20-60% lower emissions. The battery system makes it possible to maintain position, manoeuvre travel at low speed between assignments with the diesel engines closed down. When in fire-fighting mode the main engines will start for position keeping.

On trials the tug could sail at 4 knots on batteries for up to 1 hour and a speed of 8.5 knots was attained with only the MTU generator in operation. With the main engines running in the normal way a free running speed of 13.4 knots was achieved ahead and 13.0 knots astern. A maximum bollard pull of 60.2 tonnes was recorded towing ahead and 55.3 tonnes astern, comparing favourably with conventional ‘all diesel’ ASD 2810 tugs

Solar panels fitted to the deckhouse charge 24V batteries supplying emergency power for radios, navigation lights and other essential services.

Customisation carried out for Iskes, includes the installation of double drum towing winches fore and aft, timber protection on the after deck (for anchorhandling), an open stern with MKB-86 tonnes SWL towing pins and chain stopper forks. A novel feature is a removable aft bulwark to give a dry after deck during shiphandling operations. When the tug is required for anchorhandling the bulwark can be lifted out, exposing the stern roller.

Both towing winches are electrically powered two-speed machines with a maximum brake holding load of 150 tonnes. The forward winch is equipped for shiphandling over the bow and incorporates a windlass for the tug’s anchors. The aft winch is equipped with spooling gear and configured for anchorhandling and towing over the stern.

The wheelhouse is of the familiar Damen design with good all round vision. A normal inventory of controls and instruments for the propulsion system and winches is supplemented only by a few additional items required for the hybrid functions.

Fully air-conditioned accommodation fitted out to a high standard is provided for up to seven persons, in single cabins for the captain and chief engineer, one single and two double-berth cabins. All of the normal facilities include a mess/day room, galley, dry store and sanitary spaces.

Damen Shipyards have already taken orders for three ASD 2810 Hybrids for the Dutch Navy and have plans to build further examples for ‘stock’.

By Jack Gaston

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