Environmentally aware with batteries from Westcontext goes here
Battery technology is rapidly being adopted by an increasing number of ship owners. Norway is in the driving seat and Westcon is taking part in this development. Westcon installed the first battery system on the Eidesvik ship, Viking Energy, in April.
By Kari Aakra, Medvind24.no
Westcon has worked on the development of
maritime batteries for three years. The goal has
been to develop an environmentally-friendly
battery system that also reduces costs.
“It’s a milestone for us that an innovative and
technologically future-oriented company such
as Eidesvik chose our solution,” says Ragnar
Langåker, Project Manager for Products and
Systems in Westcon Power & Automation (WPA).
Finding the best solutions
Eidesvik chose Westcon’s solution for several
reasons, says the company’s Vice President
of Technology and Development, Vermund
- The world’s first hybrid ship with
- Dynamic positioning is a method
that keeps ships in the same position
without using an anchor, by
using the ship’s own propellers.
- As a hybrid ship, Viking Energy
will, among other things, replace
the power from one of the motors
with the battery when the ship is in
“The use of batteries on ships will grow in the
future. It was important for us to enter into cooperation
with a local organisation that understands
this fact. Westcon has already come a long way
in its development of battery systems and we
believe in their solutions. We are extremely happy
with the job performed by both WPA and Yards.
The level of expertise and the service has been
unique,” says Hjelland.
The battery system was installed in cooperation
with Westcon Yards. In addition to developing the battery system, Westcon has, in recent
years, been involved in work on several ships that
utilise battery technology.
“We have become familiar with the challenges
and possibilities associated with battery packages
on offshore ships and ferries. This has provided
us with a good starting point for identifying
good solutions,” says Otto Koch, Team Leader
for Products and Systems in WPA.
Reducing energy use and wear and tear
With battery use on ships, energy consumption
will be reduced as a result of more optimal load
on the engines. The ship will also be able to stop
one engine, which means less maintenance on
the machinery. The batteries therefore contribute
to reducing emissions of NOx, CO2, and other
gasses. Ship batteries also have a peak shaving
effect, where the battery equalises the load
on the motors leading to less pressure on the
Hybrid ships also have a larger redundancy, which means that they are more flexible and
reliable. Viking Energy, which has four motors, will
be able to use the batteries as an extra motor in
Viking Energy is the world’s first hybrid ship which has notation from Det Norske Veritas (DNV) for dynamic positioning. This is a milestone for both Westcon and Eidesvik. To the left, Svein Helge Juell from DNV-GL and the captain on Viking Energy, Geir Magne Eltvik, with the certificate. Photo: Ellen Marie Hagevik/Medvind24.no
Viking Energy will be the first ship that can run
on, so-called, dynamic positioning as a hybrid.
Ships that run with dynamic positioning under
oil rigs in operation use a lot of fuel since they
must have a reserve engine be running at all
times. The motors will therefore run on a very low
load, which results in higher consumption and
emissions. With the use of batteries, this will be
significantly reduced, as the ship can shut down
one generator and replace this with the battery.
“Many people are excited to see how battery-
driven ships will handle dynamic positioning.
There are special requirements regarding how
the batteries should work. Amongst other things,
there must always be a certain amount of power
available as the ships must be capable of leaving the rig quickly in an emergency,” says Langåker.
“There are major developments within battery
technology. Norway, and perhaps particularly
the western part of the country, is positioned to
be a world leader in the use of batteries on ships.
There are enormous possibilities here,” says
Enova is the driving force behind the environmentally-friendly restructuring of energy use, and
has provided investment support to ship owners
that want to use batteries. Interest is rising, says
Market Manager, Petter Hersleth, in Enova.
“Norway has become very good at the
technology surrounding maritime batteries, in
large part thanks to the comprehensive maritime
industry in the country. We will see even more
development in the future and it is the suppliers
and ship owners that are the most ambitious
now, and they will ensure the next generation
of batteries on ships and ferries. Westcon has
developed a good system and I believe we will
see more of this in the years to come.”