Danfoss’ Editron division to power French hybrid-electric vessel

The Editron division will equip the buoy-laying vessel with two electric motors powered by 150 kWh batteries. (Photo: Danfoss)

Danfoss Power Solutions’ Editron division will supply electric motors and batteries to help power a new hybrid-electric buoy-laying vessel that will be used by the French government to maintain and replace navigational buoys around the island of Corsica. The vessel was commissioned by Armement des Phares et Balises, the French government’s department responsible for signaling dangers and marking shipping routes along the French coast.

The 24-meter-long ship will feature a 35-ton crane and several winches to maneuver buoys, as well as a dynamic positioning system to allow crews to safely and precisely carry out their missions. Two Volvo D16 IMO Tier 3 engines with diesel particulate filters will drive two variable-pitch propellers. The Editron division will also equip the vessel with two electric motors powered by 150 kWh batteries that allow the boat to be fully electrically propelled as needed. Energy stored in the battery packs can be used to boost the hotel load when more power is required, meaning the power of the electric motors can be minimized when operating in generator mode.

The hybrid-electric buoy-laying vessel is expected to provide fuel savings of 25% to 30% compared to conventional diesel-driven vessels. It will also use solar panels to further reduce its carbon footprint.

“The buoy-laying vessel will be regularly entering and leaving ports and sailing across Corsica maritime protected areas, so it was important that greenhouse gas emissions and noise pollution were kept to a minimum – something the Editron division was able to ensure with their propulsion system,” noted Peter Enjalbert, project engineer at ECCS Marine, which will carry out the electric system design and integration. “This project has demonstrated that a totally electrified marine industry is within reach, so we hope this electric vessel will be the first of many for this fleet.”

“Our Editron system is designed for any type of marine vessel, since its benefits – such as lower fuel consumption, reduced emissions, freedom of design and easy integration – are universal. It is especially ideal for a work boat like this, as the tough requirements for reduced space and weight are no issue for the market-leading power density of our parallel hybrid propulsion system,” Erno Tenhunen, Danfoss’ Editron division’s Marine director, asserted in the project’s announcement.

The Merré and CIB shipyards are currently building the vessel at their two main production facilities in Nort-Sur-Erdre and Brest, France, with the ship set to be delivered in mid-2023.

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