High-energy savings through Kolmer’s permanent magnet electrical motor on the ship ‘Nooitgedacht’

Kolmer expects that in the near future inland navigation will increasingly change over to electrical energy for propulsion. This expectation is corroborated by facts with the crane vessel ‘Nooitgedacht’ and its recent “green” transformation as solid proof. The propulsion of this 684 (metric) ton and 63 meter long dredging vessel is electric, including its bow thruster. Supplied by Kolmer, the main propulsion unit consists of a 200 kW Permanent Magnet motor (comparable to 273hp) with a 165 kW electrical motor driving the bow thruster. For the ship’s main propulsion, Kolmer furnished a water-cooled engine that was placed over the out-going propeller shaft, an excellent example of professional expertise as the space in which the engine had to be fitted was limited.

Ship Nooitgedacht

Ship “Nooitgedacht”

This vessel, owned by the BTO company of Sliedrecht, Holland, has been made “greener” over the course of years.  The process began with a choice to use GTL fuel (produced from natural gas) for the 438hp Caterpillar diesel engine. Research has conclusively confirmed that this decision results in significantly lower emissions, resulting in environmental preservation. Because of this, the engine, which is now employed as a standby emergency unit, received the CCR2 certificate for cleaner engines.

The second step of the Nooitgedacht’s journey towards more environmentally friendly operations was the purchase of the above mentioned permanent magnet motor for the main propeller and an electrical motor for the bow thruster. The crane is electrically powered and in addition, an advanced Power Management System (PMS) allows the generator to work at its most efficient speed (rpm), reducing fuel consumption and any emissions to a minimum.

European developments
Due to increasingly stringent European rules, Kolmer expects that in the near future, inland navigation will gradually but inevitably shift to electrical propulsion. If the European Commission has its way, by 2030, all existing and new motors in inland navigation will have to conform to the EU-phase IV emission requirements (CCR-IV), originally planned to be instated as early as 2016. Although this is still only a desired goal, the potential emission requirements clearly indicate where the industry is heading. Another example of this impending change is the stipulation that from 2025 onward, all inland navigation vessels must comply with the CCR2 norm if they want to operate in the region of Rotterdam.