Reducing emissions – Transport ship ‘Canopée’ sails into the maritime future

The state-of-the-art transport ship ‘Canopée’ has been specially designed to transport rockets, components and satellites for the space agency ESA. In the future, it will transport all parts of the Ariane 6 launcher from Europe to the spaceport in French Guiana. ESA’s specifications for the construction of the ship were challenging in many respects.

Canopée sails with wind support during sear trails. Photo by Tom van Oossanen

Much emphasis was placed on the design of the freighter to ensure that all parts of the rocket could be transported in a single trip and that the sensitive cargo will arrive safely at the spaceport in French Guiana.

To achieve this, the Canopée must also be able to navigate the narrow and shallow Kourou River. In addition, the ship should be equipped with the latest technologies for the most emission-free and economical journey possible.

Pioneering transport ship
The result is a 121-meter-long and 22-meter-wide transport ship with a draught of only 3.80 meters in river service. What makes the Canopée so special, however, are the four electrically adjustable and retractable articulated wings, each 363 m2 in size, which act as sails. These make a significant contribution to reducing fuel consumption and thus harmful emissions. In addition to sail propulsion, the ship is equipped with diesel engines.

Certified hardware
The Canopée’s electrical installations, energy management system and engine room alarm system were developed by C-Systems B.V., based in the Netherlands. This young and dynamic company specializes in the implementation of intelligent control and software systems in shipbuilding, among other applications. An important part of the system developed by C-Systems are the robust Bachmann processor modules from the M200 series, which are certified for maritime use.

With just a few clicks, we were able to configure a fully redundant system with intelligent data management in atvise® scada.This was very impressive and saved us a lot of time.

Jeroen Nobel, Lead engineer
C-Systems B.V.

Simple redundancy
The OPC UA-based software atvise® scada is used as SCADA system and HMI. The simple setup of redundancy and the atvise® connect communication interfaces were particularly convincing. “With just a few clicks, we were able to configure a fully redundant system with intelligent data management.

The secure integration of further ship systems was also possible without any problems due to the existing interfaces. This was very impressive and saved us a lot of time,” explains Jeroen Nobel, Lead engineer at C-Systems.

The bridge of the Canopée

Complex alarm system
In total, there are about 1,200 alarm points on the transport vessel and up to 600 data points that are recorded. In addition to analyzing real-time data, a number of trend alarms have also been implemented. In this case, the system checks the current value of a parameter and compares it with the historical trend.

To do this, the system needs data over a certain period in the past. However, storage space on a ship is usually limited. “The challenge was to minimize the stored data without losing actuality and accuracy,” says Nobel. “With the alarm system we developed, we can store data for 12 months,” he continues.

I/0 modules of the Bachmann M200 controller system

Reliable partner
The construction of the Canopée was bound by a tight schedule. Therefore, it was important for C-Systems to have a reliable partner on its side. “We already knew Bachmann from other projects.

The products and support are excellent and the delivery times simply unbeatable. That’s why we chose Bachmann,” explains Arco Boon, Managing Director at C-Systems. The Canopée has successfully completed its first transatlantic crossings – without sails.

The installation of the so-called ‘wing sails’ was recently completed. This is truly a forward-looking step towards zero-emission shipping. 

The products and support are excellent and the delivery times are simply unbeatable. That’s why we chose Bachmann.

Arco Boon, Managing Director
C-Systems B.V.

Bachmann electronic GmbH

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