Playing safe with power - Far Solitaire

Because Far Solitaire is a chemical tanker compliant Platform Supply Vessel for the North Sea’s oil and gas industry, one of the main criteria in designing the ship would be her ability to master the North Sea’s unruly high seas and hold her position steady during cargo transfer operations. Often these include delivering and removing noxious and toxic materials used for oil drilling and extraction processes that are potentially dangerous to workers as well as the environment.

Notoriously risk-averse and a play-safe company, ship designer Rolls-Royce Marine turned to DEIF Marine & Offshore Technology, a long-time trusted partner, for a comprehensive, fully integrated power management solution, as well as bridge instrumentation for the innovative construction project.

The two companies have a successful record of marine innovation, having collaborated on both new design projects and retrofits, pushing performance to create greener, safer and more reliable power management solutions at sea.

Comprehensive power management

Individually engineered, DEIF’s Delomatic 4 Marine solutions can control up to five breakers from each unit with 15 units integrated into one control and supervision system for diesel generators, shaft generators, gas generator, bus tie breakers, shore connections etc.

Standard open protocols for serial interface to integrated alarm, monitoring and control systems enabling sophisticated communication and user-friendly operation are central to the Delomatic concept.

Triple master PMS

With safety and reliability always coming first, the DEIF Delomatic solution for Far Solitaire’s diesel electric propulsion system incorporates a range of different levels of functionality and protection centred on a Triple Master function with ARC-net split with additional operator panels for plant mode selection.

In case of a system fault or major fault on busbar A, B or C, the Delomatic solution’s Power Management System (PMS) splits into two or three independent PMS systems depending on the fault, allowing the unaffected sides to continue running in PMS mode.

Delomatic 4 Marine calculates the energy balance and the amount of gensets connected to the busbar continuously. If the operator requests an opening of a circuit breaker which will force a blackout, the PMS will automatically alert the operator with warning instructions.

Simple operation with significant savings

As opposed to entering various command combinations, the Delomatic’s One-touch Plant Mode choices facilitate easy switchovers between Semi-auto Mode - a PMS-assisted operational mode - and Auto1… 3 connecting a minimum of one to three gensets to the busbar. Harbour Mode has the harbour generator supplying the busbar, while Shore Mode has the busbar supplied through the Azimuth thruster frequency converter.

Monitoring and controlling max load on the main propellers/thrusters, to ensure gensets are continually loaded to max capacity, minimises fuel consumption relative to the kW produced. In effect, the Delomatic 4’s fuel efficiency is linked to its preference for heavy load on a few engines over easy load on several engines. This distribution of load saves fuel; makes the engines far more stable and increases performance.

Saving fuel generates additional windfalls in terms of fewer environmental taxes on e.g. NOx, adding a welcome short-term economic incentive to long-term commitments to environmental sustainability.

Optimised loadsharing at port

A special feature of the Far Solitaire Delomatic solutions is optimised load sharing when the Shore Connection and Harbour Generator (HG) are connected in parallel on the Busbar. Because Shore power is used as primary power source with the harbour genset topping up this means reduced harbour emissions.

There is no risk of blackout if power consumption exceeds max Shore power capability because the harbour genset Automatic Start has been initiated for parallel running with shore connection.

Thanks to Automatic Stop initiated for the harbour genset, you also avoid idle running when power consumption falls below Shore power capability.

Similar strategies in DEIF’s Power Management Systems have been documented to cut fuel consumption by upwards of 30%, compared to conventional setups. In combination with its innovative shipshape and powerful Rolls-Royce engines, Borge Nakken, who is in charge of technology and development at Farstad, expects Far Solitaire to use about 40% less fuel than a conventional vessel of the same size that is carrying out similar tasks.