‘Viking Princess’ becomes world’s first hybrid offshore vessel

Finland’s Wärtsilä has completed work on the Viking Princess making it the world’s first offshore vessel with a hybrid energy storage solution.

Wärtsilä said on Friday that the Norwegian vessel was the first ever offshore supply vessel in which batteries reduce the number of generators aboard the ship.

The company added that the Viking Princess completed sea trials and the system was handed over to customer Eidesvik Offshore on October 9, 2017.

According to the company, the energy storage solution will improve engine efficiency, generate fuel savings and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“When using the Wärtsilä installed energy storage system on board Viking Princess, the fuel saving potential can be up to 30 percent in various operations and the CO2 emissions can be reduced by up to approximately 13-18 percent per year, depending on operational conditions and requirements.

Furthermore, the hybrid solution will provide a more optimal load on the engines, while the intervals between engine maintenance can be extended,” the company said.

Viking Princess now runs on a combination of a battery pack for energy storage and three LNG-fuelled Wärtsilä engines. The technology is similar to that used in hybrid vehicles: it prevents the engine load from dipping and uses the surplus to re-energize the battery, which can be charged as needed.

The contract to replace one of the four engines on Viking Princess with battery power was signed in May. Corvus Energy’s Orca energy storage systems were chosen by Wärtsilä to provide battery power to Eidesvik’s vessel.

“Eidesvik and Wärtsilä’s partnership dates back to 2003 when our ship, the Viking Energy became the first offshore supply vessel powered by LNG fuel. Now, together, we are again introducing a world’s first, with the Viking Princess becoming the first offshore vessel in which batteries reduce the number of generators aboard the ship,” said Vermund Hjelland, president of the technical department at Eidesvik Offshore.

“In addition to the fuel consumption and environmental advantages, the conversion also reduces maintenance costs and contributes to more efficient operations. The success of this project will impact the future of the entire shipping industry,” added Sindre Utne, manager of projects and operations at Wärtsilä Norway.