As major contributors to vessel transport emissions, ship manufacturers are also under increasing pressure to improve the efficiency of the vessels they construct. Combined with heightened regulations and complex marine specifications, building and designing a large vessel is an increasingly complex task.

WEG experienced this first-hand when tasked recently with equipping a 15,000 m³ marine dredger vessel, Bonny River, with a complete set of generators and electric motors.

The latest version of the trailing suction hopper dredger (TSHD) Bonny River, which was built by Royal IHC, needed to be optimized for efficiency and energy consumption. In fact, Royal IHC, an international supplier of vessels for offshore, dredging and mining markets, set out aggressive ambitions for Bonny River to be awarded a ‘Green Passport’ and ‘Clean Design’ notation – a voluntary compliance for vessels which adhere to pollution prevention measures beyond the normal standard.

Winning designs

The tender for the supply of power generators and electric motors was awarded to WEG for several reasons, mainly as the company has the technical and manufacturing capacity to deliver all the generators and electric motors - from a single source - therefore simplifying the supply chain, logistics and aftersales support.

In addition to those reasons, WEG was also able to offer custom engineered & designed products for the vessel. Being engineered by our team experts at WEG specific for the application, the motors and generators not only met the latest marine society requirements, but also aligned with other systems being delivered by IHC insuring that the total harmonic distortion (THD) would be kept to an absolute minimum.

The generators, from both WEG’s S-line and AG10 line, now provide the power for both the main and the auxiliary systems on the Bonny River, which is now in use by Belgium-based dredging organization, DEME. The motors from WEG’s M, WGM20 and W22 lines are applied in various systems on board.

Integrated solutions for marine applications

WEG has the capabilities of providing complete solutions in electric motors, automation and generators for the marine market. In addition to our state-of-the-art products and services, WEG also supplies reliable solutions with VFD’s to handle, maintain and apply other services onboard.

Supplying equipment for marine applications requires specific expertise, due to the operations and the environment of a maritime vessel. The Bonny River dredger, for instance, was designed to operate in depths up to 100 meters and in environmentally sensitive areas. Its dynamic positioning (DP2) system uses tunnel thrusters, in combination with global positioning systems, to hold a precise location, allowing the vessel to operate close to various subsea structures.

The bow and stern thrusters on the vessel were also powered by WEG motors, as well as the booster pump, which discharges the sand and water mix either through a shore connection, or by rainbowing directly onto an unloading site. The vessel uses a closed loop dredging process that minimizes turbidity in the water, which is very important in environmentally sensitive areas.

As part of the design process, WEG provided IHC with the equipment dimensions and weights of our equipment so that they could be properly positioned into the vessel’s 3D model. This allowed the design team to check the fit of components as well as the balance of the vessel.

Optimum efficiency

As part of the energy reduction concept, WEG’s generators are able to run at variable speeds. This allows the motors to run at different speeds, depending on the operational status of the vessel. The specifications called for the generators to deliver between 50 and 60 Hz, depending on the applied motor speed, which ensured the motors are operated at optimum efficiency.

As part of the design process, WEG completed all necessary calculations to ensure that specific values of transient and sub-transitory synchronous reactances met specific values, which were set by Bureau Veritas, an international testing and certification agency.

WEG power for a super green dredger

Since the project’s completion, the marine dredger has been deployed by DEME. Having achieved its planned ‘Green Passport’ and ‘Clean Design’ notation, the vessel has already been mobilized in Flushing, Netherlands and embarked on numerous dredging assignments.

The fact that so many components came from one manufacturer will significantly reduce the complexity of maintenance for the vessel’s owners and operation staff.

WEG also provided a considerable amount of detailed information on the maintenance of our equipment so that onboard maintenance teams can source any necessary services or parts from WEG’s global network wherever in the world they are operating.

WEG’s involvement in this project allowed Royal IHC to meet its efficiency goals, by supplying custom designed power generators and electric motors, uniquely applied into a maritime environment.

More information on WEG’s solutions for the marine industry can be downloaded on the WEG website.

About WEG

Founded in 1961, WEG is a global electric-electronic equipment company, operating mainly in the capital goods sector with solutions in electric machines, automation and paints for several sectors, including infrastructure, steel, pulp and paper, oil and gas, mining, among many others. WEG stands out in innovation by constantly developing solutions to meet the major trends in energy efficiency, renewable energy and electric mobility. With manufacturing units in 12 countries and present in more than 135 countries, the company has more than 36,900 employees worldwide. WEG’s net revenue reached R$ 23.56 billion in 2021, 54.5% from external markets.

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