Electrical engineering firm highlights electric ferry equipment, signs new deal with TECO
There have been a number of high-profile projects to electrify large marine vessels in recent months. However, the trend has yet to trickle down into smaller vessels.
According to Finnish electrical engineering firm Visedo, the problem is mainly the system used. Large vessels can use AC systems, originally designed for transmitting power over long distances, but such systems are too bulky for small vessels.
The company is looking to solve the issue through the design of a generator to create and distributed electricity in DC. Smaller components can then be used to convert the power as required.
This approach was used in Asia’s first hybrid electric ferry in City of Kaohsiung. Visedo worked with Taiwan’s Ship and Ocean Industries R&D Centre on the design of the project, developing a power generation system and installing a series of inverters to convert power into the required format.
The system can convert DC power into: a variable AC current for propulsion; a fixed 400V AC output to power the on board microgrid where electronic devices can be plugged in, and multiple DC/DC voltage requirements.
With the exception of the latter, these conversions are all performed with the company’s PowerMASTER inverter, which is controlled by software rather than using multiple components. The software enables the inverter to work in different scenarios to produce the correct current, saving plant space and lowering the cost of retrofitting.
According to the company: “This heralds a big change for the marine industry – allowing small vessels to benefit from the same pollution reduction and fuel saving already being enjoyed in other industries. The dream of replacing diesel and ending pollution is fast becoming reality – now is the time for the marine industry to embrace the electric revolution.”
The system could make its way into even more vessels, owing to a new deal signed this week by Visedo and Asia’s largest electric motor producer TECO Electric & Machinery Company. The agreement will see Visedo technology used in electric passenger road vehicles, heavy duty machinery and marine vessels produced by TECO.
TECO will also have access to Visedo’s expertise in developing synchronous reluctance assisted permanent magnet (SRPM) power systems, a technology superior to currently produced powertrains for heavy electric vehicles.