Marine electrical engineering company MJR Power and Automation has successfully completed harbour trials of its platform mounted automated offshore power and charging system, believed to offer the potential to enable the transition to heavy hybrid and fully electric vessels for zero emission operations.
The harbour trials have been successfully carried out at the Port of Blyth using the TIA Elizabeth Crew Transfer Vessel (CTV) owned and operated by Tidal Transit. The set-up at the port replicated the installation of the offshore power and charging system on an offshore wind turbine and/or substation validating the safe connection, mooring, and charging of battery bank installed on the CTV. With safety embedded throughout the system, all interconnection, mooring, automation, monitoring, and safety systems, including wireless communication and emergency disconnection were tested and validated during the trails.
Designed to convert energy delivered directly from the offshore wind farm , the offshore power and charging system will enable all heavy hybrid and electric crew transfer vessels and other offshore support vessels to connect in the field to a 100% green energy source generated directly by offshore wind turbines for the efficient, safe and reliable transfer of power. It will enable offshore power to be supplied to other support vessels allowing them to turn off their diesel generators whilst standing by, in the same way that they can connect to shore power.
MJR MD Paul Cairns said: “Our offshore power and charging system is a ground-breaking innovation set to revolutionise the marine sector and which has huge potential to enable the industry to seamlessly transition to electrically operated CTV fleets. By providing a solution to power vessels and charge batteries in the field – primarily during periods when they would otherwise be idle – MJR’s offshore power and charging system will prove to be a key enabler for the large-scale deployment of eCTVs and larger electric hybrid vessels across the offshore sector. Put simply, if 50% of the UK’s CTV fleet converted to electric operation, this would eliminate approximately 131,100t of CO2 each year. These figures are staggering and highlight that such technology, and the adoption of it, will be pivotal in reducing emissions in the field and helping owners, operators and governments to achieve their net zero targets. Also, without the funding support of the UK’s department for transport and delivery partner, Innovate UK, through the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition, we would not be leading the world in delivering this innovative technology and we are extremely grateful for their ongoing support and vision in delivering clean maritime technologies”.
With successful harbour trials now complete, MJR will now demobilise the equipment and prepare for installation on an operational offshore wind farm substation in the North Sea.