Yaskawa Environmental Energy / The Switch has signed a contract with Caterpillar® (Cat) to deliver an innovative package of electric drive train technology for a series of bulk carriers. The ships will feature Cat Marine’s Twin Fin concept, offering optimal reliability, efficiency and performance, with The Switch technology at the heart of the environmentally and OPEX friendly solution.
In total, The Switch will be providing deliveries of two permanent magnet (PM) propulsion machines, four PM generators, two DC-Hubs, two Electronic Bus Links (EBL) and 20 Electronic DC Breakers (EDCB) for each vessel.
Ville Parpala, Director, Product Marketing, Marine, Yaskawa Environmental Energy / The Switch, describes the contract as a “major breakthrough” for the business.
“Cat is a globally respected brand and a dream customer to add to our growing client reference list,” Parpala comments.
“The Twin Fin concept is a game-changer within the industry, delivering enhanced power and maneuverability, but with decreased energy consumption and emissions. Our innovative drive train technology has been selected to facilitate peak performance and reliability. We see this as a milestone win and huge endorsement of our flexible, economical and environmentally friendly solutions.”
The compact, light, highly efficient and simple-to-maintain PM machines – which capture mechanical energy and convert it to green, electrical vessel power – are perfectly suited for the limited space available in the slim profile of the Twin Fins.
The Switch DC-Hubs, meanwhile, offer a flexible choice of power generation, energy storage, charging, propulsion and clean power, while the EBL links and protects them. Its unique ability to detect, cut and isolate any potential system error within just 10 microseconds greatly increases vessel redundancy. EDCBs are installed to protect the individual frequency converters within the DC-Hubs.
“By working as partners with customers such as Cat, we can help deliver a combination of performance, efficient power and environmental advantages for forward-thinking owners,” Parpala says. “This gives the owner a competitive advantage while saving the environment from unwanted emissions.”
“We see such contracts as key building blocks in the drive to enable a more responsible, sustainable and profitable industry. We’re delighted that Cat, and the shipowner, share our vision.”
The newbuild bulk carriers feature large internal power plants – with energy supply through The Switch technology – to satisfy the demand for cargo conveyor belts, propulsion and associated vessel operations.
Finland-headquartered Yaskawa Environmental Energy / The Switch has delivered more than 1,200 marine power drives to the industry over the last decade. Owners operating vessels incorporating the firm’s market-leading technology include names such as ESL Shipping, Saga LNG Shipping, Rederiet Stenersen, Wallenius Shipping and Rederi AB Donsötank, among others.
Alongside marine applications, The Switch’s innovative product portfolio includes advanced drive train technology tailored for the wind and turbo/industry segments. The business became part of the Japan-headquartered Yaskawa Electric Corporation in 2014.