Page 23: of Maritime Reporter Magazine (July 2019)

Cruise Vessel Design & Outfit

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Offshore Wind

One-stop power conversion

With the United States and China about to start their respective offshore wind build-ups, grid operators wondering about the ef? ciency of their turbines or the emissions-areas compliance of their wind-service vessels will be warmed to know there’s someone they can talk to. Yaska- wa’s The Switch — a Japanese industrial giant’s European environmental tech business — is offering one-stop wind-energy shopping. As with shipping, you can order permanent magnet generators, drives and converters for your wind turbines. Take heart. The lingo is the same.

By William Stoichevski askawa’s The Switch is well- lar. But we customize the technology for age marine power company which has its ample specs and cranes, the Brave placed to hybridize vessels the speci? c end application,” said The delivered converters to over 6,000 wind Tern employs dynamic positioning that or help convert power from Switch’s director of product marketing turbines in China alone. The new Yas- allows the vessels to work around the

Ywind turbines. In the U.S., for marine solutions, Ville Parpala, who kawa company has also begun re-equip- wind turbines while not anchored.

they’ve quietly built up a $500 million didn’t mind indulging us. ping part of the Norwegian offshore ? eet In 2012 and 2013, The Switch deliv- business in low-voltage and medium- “Some requirements are different for with multiple-megawatt electrical drives ered the drives for the propulsion ma- voltage drives, with some sales of solar marine. For example, there are differenc- while also kitting out the ? rst, heavy- chines of both Brave Tern and the Bold inverters on the side. es for the cooling system. Marine appli- duty offshore-service vessels. Tern. During the build by Lamprell

Known in the North Sea for perma- cations can use fresh water, for example, With the worldwide shift toward in- shipyard in Dubai, the three motors that nent magnet generators and frequency but wind needs closed-loop solutions. stalling larger wind-turbines, a major came from another supplier were aug- converters for wind turbines and marine The generator speed is also different, and wind-park and wind-carrier consider- mented with The Switch’s delivery of power and propulsion, The Switch’s spe- more redundancy is required in marine ation in the US and China. The Switch three 3,800 kW propulsor drives; three cialty is where the generator shaft meets applications,” he says, not minding that — with its PM machines and converters 2,700 kW tunnel thrusters and, in is un- the propeller shaft, with ef? cient drives we’re comparing towering wind turbines ranging for applications from 500 kW derstood, a DC Hub for each vessel. for power outputs of from 0.5 kW to 11 to wind-service shipping. to 8.0 MW — and the Yaskawa line of Future wind-service vessels look set

MW. medium-voltage converters meet that to face an increasing amount of envi-

Their marine permanent magnet ma- A similar discussion coming challenge of scale. ronmental scrutiny and can expect to chines can be used as gen sets or motors, “There are also different regulations, one day have to operate as hybrids. New and new drives come with con? gurations such as the strict classi? cations for ma- Marine scale wind players are often national grid man- that download to a mobile phone and are rine. But in the end, marine and wind are In the ? rst encounter with large off- agers involved in wind precisely for the a shipowner’s path to battery-powered very much alike. In wind, the goal is to shore turbines off the US Eastern Sea- green footprint. Even established players hybridization. When Yaskawa bought put as much quality electricity into the board, the site of Fred Olsen Wind Carri- with roots in oil, like Equinor, have been the company in 2018, that was part of the grid (as possible). In marine, the goal er’s 15,000 GT Brave Tern jack-up wind known to insist on greener power from allure of Wartsila’s power drives divi- is to slash operating costs and fuel con- installation vessels wind installation their marine suppliers.

sion, now called The Switch: the bought sumption.” vessel easily handling and installing tur- “Our drives match turbine installation business offered scale, high-voltage Similarities aside, the timing of the bines was a sobering sight for those who vessels very well,” Parpala said, explain- drives, marine-market savvy and “green company extending its global reach is had seen the very ? rst turbine assemblies ing that specialized crew carrying ves- tech”. When acquired, The Switch had perfect at this the dawn of US — and, it with smaller vessels. Those ? rst installs sels are generally too small for the com- been focused on providing wind-turbine seems, Chinese — offshore wind expan- were bold, given the size of the vessels pany’s multi-megawatt equipment class. drives and marine shaft generators when sion. By some estimates, the US offshore used. “Generally, we have a good match

Wartsila sold it to Yaskawa, which had wind industry alone, still in the planning “In marine, people’s lives depend on whenever dynamic positioning is re- smaller-capacity generators and a large and acquisition stage, is a $70 billion what you do,” said Parpala. “In wind, quired. Our electrical drives and con- range of industrial offerings, including market in-waiting. According to World people rely on the quality of what you verters are ideal for any hybrid vessel, its own drives. Watch Institute, China is hoping to be 40 deliver. In a highly electrical world, it’s especially when they have DP2 or DP3,

Incredibly, permanent magnet genera- percent wind powered by 2050. important to have high reliability at all which is important for wind-supply ves- tors and frequency converters for wind Yaskawa Environmental Energy, of times.” sels. Our drive products are already de- turbines and ships can be talked about which The Switch is a part, is the com- As it happens, that pioneering Fred Ol- signed and delivered for this. together, if you like one-stop shopping: bination of a robotics savvy, mainly low- sen vessel — now at work in the U.K — “The bene? ts of using our DC-Hub “In general, the technology is quite simi- voltage industrial giant with a high-volt- was kitted out by The Switch. Apart from and (Electronic Bus Link, or EBLs) as 23

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