Hybrid Propulsion Systems
There have been vessels that traditionally are not considered to fit into the description of a vessel suited for electric propulsion. Typically, this have been Anchor Handling Vessels, Tugs, High speed PSV’s, some type of Fishing Vessels and similar types of vessels designed for very high power output either for transit, towing, anchor handling or similar operations.
Reason for this has been cost related to the huge amount of electrical power needed to be produced, distributed and converted onboard these vessels making them full diesel electric vessels.
This has also made the vessels vulnerable to power losses. However, these vessels require an optimized propulsion system due to varying load demands. The need for improved redundancy has also become an issue on conventional vessel.
The Hybrid vessels Propulsion system is developed to take advantage of the best from both worlds of propulsion, conventional and diesel electric to make a system better suited also for these types of vessels. This is done by connecting an electrical motor and a diesel engine to the same gearbox giving the system a high degree of redundancy and flexibility. Optimized fuel economy in all operational modes and reduced investment cost compared to a full diesel electrical system is also achieved.
The electrical motor and the direct connected diesel engine can run the propeller separately or in parallel. Typical operation for pure diesel mechanical setup is steaming. Typical operation for electrical set-up is transit at lower speed and DP operation. Parallel boosting operation between mechanical and electrical is typically heavy towing, fast steaming and anchor handling operations.
A hybrid propulsion system can be realized with both azimuths and conventional propellers, but for many reasons the best layout is with conventional propellers and controllable pitch control. By the use of the conventional and well proven conventional propeller system, it is possible to combine electrical and mechanical operation of the propeller. And, full advantage of both variable speed control and variable pitch can be taken.
- Improved redundancy; engines / Gen sets can be out of operation without major consequences to the operation of the vessel.
- Shaft generator/main engine can be operated independent of main gear.
- Partly improved utilization of cargo space and more flexible overall ship design compared to conventional design. Shaft line is still there but main engine physical size will be reduced and auxiliary engine room can be located freely.
- Optimized fuel economy in all modes of operation, also transit, especially for vessels with fluctuating load demands and a mixture of transit and DP operation. This due to optimized utilization of the diesel engines and elimination of zero-pitch losses of propellers.
- Reduction in emission due to reduced fuel consumption
- Investment cost normally not so different from a conventional system, but of course depending on layout and ratings.
Market potential of hybrid vessels
Transparency Market Research has released a new market report titled Marine Hybrid Propulsion Market – Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast, 2016 – 2024. According to this report, the global revenue for marine hybrid propulsion systems stood at US$ 2,653.4 MN in 2015 and is expected to reach US$ 5,252.5 MN by 2024 at a CAGR of 8.2% from 2016 to 2024.
A combination of engines, generators, battery banks, and electric motors facilitates the propulsion of marine hybrid propulsion systems. The year-on-year growth in inter-state, intra-state, and cross-border trade activities has triggered the demand for marine ships. Thus, the increasing number of marine ships utilized for several operations inside and outside the country has boosted the demand for fuel-efficient hybrid propulsion systems.
The primary beneficiaries of the flexibility of marine hybrid propulsion systems are marine vessels with several varying load profiles. Vessel operators are facing several operational challenges in the face of growing environmental restrictions and fluctuating fuel prices. Investment in marine hybrid propulsion systems is an effective means to meet the current marine operating requirements. Fuel charges account for a significant share of a vessel’s operating expenditure. As a result, shipping liners are adopting efficient fuel technologies such as hybrid propulsion to increase profit margins.
Factors driving the demand for marine hybrid systems are growing seaborne trade, raw material prices, increasing investments in shipping industries, and regulations and policies to minimize carbon emissions in different regions. Technological advancements have made hybrid propulsion systems an attractive option for marine vessel operators. Features such as silent maneuvering, emission-free operations, and limited fuel consumption have prompted vessel and towage operators to invest in this technology. Enforcement of strict emission standards and the increasing need for effective propulsion solutions in ferries and tugboats are factors likely to motivate technology developers to invest in this market.
The marine hybrid propulsion market has been segmented into three categories: configuration, end-use, and region. In terms of configuration, the marine hybrid propulsion market has been classified into diesel-electric, parallel hybrid, and serial hybrid. In terms of end-use, the market has been segregated into tugboats & OSV’s, ferries, defense vessels, and others. Diesel-hybrid configuration accounted for more than 50% share in the years 2015. Currently, ferry operators are the major adopters of marine hybrid propulsion systems which accounted to more than 40% in the year 2015. Tugboat is one of the essential vessels utilized primarily within port limits to maneuver large vessels. These boats are designed to perform a wide variety of tasks across the entire power spectrum. It has been observed that tugboats and offshore support vessels operate at low engine load most of the time. Luxury yachts and small tourist boats are also emerging as one of the major adopters of marine hybrid propulsion systems. As a result, several yacht and boat designers are developing new hybrid models to attract more investment in this market.
Furthermore, Developed and developing countries are investing significantly in the defense sector. This is likely to boost the utilization of defense vessels, thereby, augmenting the demand for marine hybrid propulsion systems.
Marine Hybrid Propulsion Market: Configuration Analysis
Marine Hybrid Propulsion Market: End-use Analysis
- Tugboats & OSVs
- Defense Vessels
Marine Hybrid Propulsion Market: Regional Analysis
- North America
- Rest of North America
- Rest of Europe
- Asia Pacific
- Rest of Asia Pacific
- Middle East & Africa
- South Africa
- Rest of MEA
- Latin America
- Rest of Latin America
One of the most important Marinnor goals is being compatible with environment and having the least destruction on eco-system, by using hybrid propulsion systems we can be one step closer to this goal. Also we can significantly reduce the amount of fuel which we were using to use energy more efficient.