The technology group Wärtsilä’s hybrid power module solution, the Wärtsilä HY, is now fully operational on the ‘Vilja’, an escort tug owned by the Swedish port of Luleå.
The tug was built at Gondan Shipbuilders in Asturias, Spain and was delivered in the end of June 2019 following successful completion of the commissioning and sea trials. 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.
The solution has been specially developed to meet the specific needs of the tug market. It features operating characteristics that 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. These features have all been successfully tested and demonstrated.
The Energy Management System (EMS), representing the ‘brain’ of the Wärtsilä HY, has been specifically tuned based on actual data acquired during one year of field operations. Its functionalities have been fully tested at the Wärtsilä Hybrid Centre. The EMS is designed to efficiently cope with drastically changing operating conditions. In Luleå, the vessel will alternate between normal summer time operations, and working in one metre thick ice during the winter months. Having an adapting EMS ensures the tug’s ability to maintain the highest efficiency performance in both situations.
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.