Damen unveils fully electric CTV, offshore charging concept

Crew transfer vessel features Volvo IPS system to enable sailing exclusively on battery power

Last week at the Seawork show in Southampton, UK, Damen Shipyards Group unveiled a fully electric Fast Crew Supplier (FCS) 3210 E, which it said paves the way to zero-emissions transportation of crew and cargo to offshore locations.

Damen FCS 3210 Electric vessel The FCS 3210 E is able to sail at high speeds to offshore wind farms up to 25 nautical miles from shore before recharging. (Source: Damen Shipyards Group)

Based on the design of the FCS 2710, the FCS 3210 E incorporates the same combination of Damen’s Axe Bow hull shape with a rounded tunnel for optimal comfort, reduced wet deck slamming and minimal water resistance. Its increased space aft allows for a larger deckhouse and more deck capacity.

The vessel features a full electrical Volvo IPS system (Inboard Performance System) that enables it to sail exclusively on battery power. The company said the FCS 3210 E is able to sail at high speeds to offshore wind farms up to 25 nautical miles from shore, where it will recharge at a charging system integrated to a turbine, substation or SOV before returning to shore.

Damen’s crew transfer portfolio has been continually evolving since its introduction. Last December, the company introduced the diesel-electric FCS 3210 E Hybrid, powered by four diesel gen-sets.

“Now, with increasing focus on sustainability, we have developed a fully electric version to enable zero-emissions operations,” said Wim Boerma, Damen product manager, High Speed Craft. “The FCS 3210 E draws on the proven performance of its predecessors and applies the lessons learned in our development of a number of fully electric vessels.”

According to Boerma, “The challenge of preparing vessels for alternative propulsion often lies in knowing what fuels will be available and affordable in the future. For a vessel such as this, operating a predictable route to a location with an abundance of clean energy, the solution is clear. With the FCS 3210 E, operators can access the crew transfer vessel of the future today.”

To provide operators with the flexibility to operate the FCS 3210 at locations farther from shore, Damen has also developed a full methanol propulsion version. However, the engine technology enabling a vessel in this power range to sail on methanol has not yet reached maturity, the company acknowledged. When it does, it said the FCS 3210 Hybrid will be prepared for a fast, cost-efficient conversion.

Offshore charging of Damen FCS 3210 electric vessel The offshore charging solution would enable a fully electric crew transfer vessel to charge at either a turbine or one of Damen’s Commissioning Service Operations Vessels outfitted with a charger. (Source: Damen Shipyards Group)
Offshore charging concept

In a separate announcement, Damen introduced a new concept for offshore charging. The system envisages a fully electric crew transfer vessel (CTV), which can charge at either a turbine or one of Damen’s Commissioning Service Operations Vessels outfitted with a charger. 

“Offshore charging is an essential feature for a fully electric CTV operation. Typically, this would be dependent on charging infrastructure being present at an offshore wind farm,” said Mark Couwenberg, product manager, Service Operations Vessels at Damen. “Our unique position as builders of both CTVs and CSOVs led us to the idea of placing the charging scope within our assets. This can be done with both a conventional, diesel-powered CSOV, or with a fully electric version.”

The charging system that Damen has applied to its concept is developed by UK-based MJR, a specialist in offshore charging systems. The CTV would connect via a bell mouth that catches the charger that is lowered from a reel on the aft deck of the CSOV.

Following personnel disembarkation, the vessel could connect using a highly automated, safe process. It is expected that charging could take place in 2-3 hours, depending on the operational profile.

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