Wärtsilä secures first ferry reference for its Low Loss Concept – saves fuel and costs

Wärtsilä’s Low Loss Concept system has been ordered by Canadian shipowner Transport Desgagnés for installation in a 95m passenger/vehicle/container vessel, to be built at Croatia’s Kraljevica Shipyard. It will be the first ever application of the Low Loss Concept (LLC) in a passenger vessel.

The Low Loss Concept was developed by Wärtsilä to save both fuel and installation costs, as well as reducing emissions and the amount of space required for component installation. This innovation also delivers greater redundancy in the electrical propulsion system, and makes commissioning work easier. It has already established considerable support from owners in the offshore vessel segment.

“In a conventional diesel-electric propulsion arrangement, you need many large distribution transformers. But we have developed a system that obviates the need for transformers in the propulsion line, so we can eliminate these huge, heavy components, and their associated equipment and utilities. This reduces investment costs, operational costs, and the space required for the equipment onboard,” says Piotr Kabacinski, Project Manager, Wärtsilä Ship Power.

Fuel savings, less pollution

“LLC can reduce electrical losses by 3%, and this means good fuel savings and less pollution. The system also provides improved health, safety and environmental (HSE) performance through fewer components, lower pollution and higher system redundancy,” adds Mr Kabacinski.

The decision by Transport Desgagnés to opt for the LLC arrangement was reinforced by consultant Deltamarin Ltd, who found that the LLC was favourable over conventional power distribution solutions due to the high level of energy efficiency and redundancy it affords. The main electrical equipment components are divided into two separate compartments, a requirement deemed imperative to the shipowner’s environmental considerations, and one that also increases redundancy.

Additionally, the total installed equipment weight and required space of the LLC package was found to be significantly less than that offered by competitors.

These were very important factors in the equipment selection, as the 381-passenger, 125TEU-carrying vessel will operate along the ecologically sensitive St Lawrence River, with a weekly itinerary that takes in 22 ports-of-call with short ship stays of no more than five hours.

“LLC combined with the smokeless operation of common-rail engines offers significant benefits to any shipowner operating in environmentally sensitive areas,” says Kabacinski.

In addition to the state-of-the-art LLC system, Wärtsilä’s scope of supply to the Desgagnés-designed vessel includes a complete diesel-electric propulsion package based on four, nine-cylinder versions, of the established Wärtsilä 20CR (common-rail) medium speed generating sets. All 600V main distribution switchboards, the electric propulsion motors, and the frequency converters also form part of the supply agreement.

Wärtsilä will deliver the equipment to the Kraljevica Shipyard throughout January 2010.

By Professional Mariner Staff