Wärtsilä Hybrid Tech Solution Successfully Operates On Vilja
The Wärtsilä HY, which is the technology group Wärtsilä’s hybrid power module solution, is now fully operational on the ‘Vilja’, an escort tug owned by the Swedish port of Luleå.
At Gondan Shipbuilders in Asturias, Spain the tug was built and followed the successful completion of the commissioning and sea trials, which was delivered at the end of June 2019. The Wärtsilä HY is the first hybrid power module in the marine industry, and its operational application onboard the ‘Vilja’ marks a new era in shipping.
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For meeting the specific needs of the tug market the solution has been specially developed. The features and operating characteristics of the solution include ‘green mode’, with zero emissions and no noise, a ‘power boost’ that delivers a higher bollard pull than any other conventional solution of comparable size, and ‘smokeless operation’ whereby no smoke is produced even during start-up of the main engines. All these features have been successfully tested and demonstrated.
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The ‘brain’ of the Wärtsilä HY, represented by The Energy Management System (EMS) has been specifically tuned based on actual data acquired during one year of field operations. Tests of its functionalities have been performed at the Wärtsilä Hybrid Centre. To cope with drastically changing operating conditions efficiently the EMS has been designed. In Luleå, the vessel will alternate between normal summertime operations, and working in one-meter thick ice during the winter months. Having an adapting EMS ensures the tug’s ability to maintain the highest efficiency performance in both situations.
“This vessel is the most powerful tug operating with hybrid propulsion and it can be considered as creating a benchmark in the new era of modern shipping,” says Giulio Tirelli, Director, Sales & Business Intelligence, Wärtsilä Marine. “The implementation of the Wärtsilä HY and the process followed for reaching this milestone represents a practical application of Wärtsilä’s Data Driven Design principles, and it effectively transforms our Smart Marine vision into practice.”
“The ‘Vilja’ represents the most technologically advanced tug currently in operation. The selection of the Wärtsilä hybrid power module will ensure a drastic reduction in emissions, setting new, higher, standards for our service, and for the quality of life in the Luleå region”, says Henrik Vuorinen, CEO, Luleå Hamn AB. “Our deep cooperation with Wärtsilä will also ensure additional potential achievements during the vessel’s lifecycle.”
The innovative ‘Wärtsilä HY for Tug’ solution enables significant benefits in terms of environmental performance, and a significant reduction in fuel and maintenance costs. During trials, the icebreaking tug achieved a 100-tonne bollard pull, while producing approximately 20 percent fewer emissions than a comparable conventional vessel.