SMM Direct: Caterpillar Consortium Powers ‘INNOVATION’

SMM Direct: Caterpillar Consortium Powers 'INNOVATION'

Caterpillar Marine Power Systems, together with SAM Electronics, SCHOTTEL and Zeppelin Power Systems, have delivered an integrated power and propulsion package for “M/V Innovation”, one of the largest and most innovative offshore wind turbine installation vessels to date.

The consortium of globally renowned marine specialists provided both shipowner and shipyard a single-source solution for all the power equipment on board, ranging from bridge to propeller and including engineering and project management. The impressive vessel, currently erecting the 400 MW “Global Tech I” windfarm in the North Sea off Germany, marks a quantum leap in smart systems integration and customized solutions development.

The Innovation was constructed by Crist shipyard of Poland for HGO InfraSea Solutions, a joint venture of leading construction companies Hochtief, Germany, and DEME Group, Belgium. It measures 147 meters in length, 42 meters in breadth, has an 8,000 ton transport capacity and a 1,500 ton crane capacity.

The Innovation is capable of jacking up to 50 meters water depth to install offshore wind turbines of 6+ MW with overall heights of more than 120 meters as well as their respective heavy foundations. The vessel utilizes a new foundation drilling approach which, compared to the regular piling, will minimize impacts on the maritime environment.

A powerful solution

HGO InfraSea Solutions has committed itself to providing the most powerful Heavy Lift Jackup vessels. Caterpillar and its partners SAM, SCHOTTEL and Zeppelin responded with an integrated power solution combining the most efficient diesel engine technology, state-of-the-art propulsion, smart electronics and intelligent systems control. Caterpillar’s dual branded power package comprises 6x MaK 9 M 32 C main, 1x MaK 9 M 20 C auxiliary and 1x Cat®C32 ACERT™ emergency generator sets. Each 9 M 32 C provides 4,500 kW @ 600 rpm (60 Hz).

The 9 M 20 C provides 1,620 kW @ 900 rpm (60 Hz) and the C32 provides 781 kW @ 1800 rpm (450 V, 60 Hz). Zeppelin Power Systems, the exclusive Caterpillar marine dealer for Germany, Poland and many Eastern European countries, in a joint effort with technical experts of SAM Electronics and SCHOTTEL, have ensured smooth installation and commissioning of this complex propulsion and power plant.

The Innovation relies on diesel electric propulsion. The six main generator prime movers, coupled to SAM supplied alternators on a common and compact base frame, deliver a total 27 MW to two high-voltage switchboards that connect to the electric drives, on-board power and auxiliary systems.

SAM Electronics provided the switchboards, harness and complete design of the electrical system. Fall-back solutions within the switchboard guarantee that system failures will not affect dynamic positioning capabilities of the vessel.

Propelled with maximum thrust

The Innovation is propelled by four azimuth thrusters at the stem and three tunnel thrusters in the bow. All drives are designed with fixed-pitch propellers and speed controlled by low- voltage PWM converters supplied via associated propulsion transformers from the 6,600 V bus bar.

The SRP 3030 SCHOTTEL Rudder Propellers at the stem can be operated independently or synchronized via an electric shaft system. Their asynchronous motors deliver 3,500 kW, providing propellers of 3,400 mm diameter with a speed of 0-1050 rpm. The STT 3030 FP SCHOTTEL Tunnel Thrusters in the bow use propellers of 3,200 mm.

In order to keep the thruster drives independent from other influences each propulsion transformer is connected to an auxiliary Motor Control Center (MCC) actually supplying power to all the equipment of the related drive. MCC as well as the propulsion control system with touch screen panel located at each drive have been delivered by SAM Electronics.

This also applies to the Platinum Alarm, Monitoring and Control System (MCS) covering more than 4,500 different signals. SAM Electronics also provided the vessel’s navigation system and dynamic positioning system (DP2).

Tailored to customer’s needs

The Innovation is not only the most powerful Heavy Lift Jackup vessel designed for offshore windfarm installations to date. It also combines highest propulsion system uptime with enhanced maneuvering, jacking and dynamic positioning capabilities both controlled and monitored by cutting-edge marine electronics.

This outstanding package was developed in close cooperation with the customer while fully utilizing the expertise of four globally recognized marine specialists: Caterpillar Marine Power Systems / Zeppelin Power Systems, SAM Electronics and SCHOTTEL.

“Caterpillar offers wide range of power solutions for the offshore wind industry. Our industry leading selection of products from high speed Cat branded propulsion and genset products for applications such as crew boats or cable layers to large medium speed MaK branded generating sets for installation or service jackup vessels basically covers all power needs the offshore wind industry have,” said Alexander Kohse, Key Account and Offshore Segment Manager, Caterpillar Marine Power Systems. “Particularly important for projects like this, though, is our vast experience in providing complete propulsion packages and advanced power systems integration through consortial business. Caterpillar is prepared to join forces with other leading marine suppliers worldwide in order to maximize the total value for the customer.”

“We are pleased about the integration of components and solutions making up the complex design of the Innovation,” said Dr. Carsten Heymann, Managing Director, HGO InfraSea Solutions. “Caterpillar, SAM Electronics, SCHOTTEL and Zeppelin have done a good job from systems development via construction surveillance and commissioning through final sea trials. Our expectations with regard to accompanying project management and resulting systems performance have been met.”

While the Innovation has successfully started operations in the North Sea, discussions are underway to provide power solutions with a similar scope of supply to other offshore installation vessels across the globe. Crist shipyard is currently building the “M/V Vidar”, a direct successor to “M/V Innovation” ordered by HGO InfraSea Solutions, which will also rely on a power package delivered by Caterpillar and its partners. And since a strong team is hard to beat further projects in the offshore segment are likely to materialize soon.


Press release, September 6, 2012