Bureau Veritas Classes World’s First Hybrid-Powered Surface Effect Ship

Bureau Veritas has classed the world’s first hybrid-powered Surface Effect Ship (SES), the CWind Pioneer.

CWind’s new crew transfer vessel (CTV) features an air cushion, twin hulls and an innovative diesel and electric drivetrain with considerable battery storage onboard, Bureau Veritas said.

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With a capacity of 24 passengers, the CWind Pioneer can operate at speeds exceeding 43 knots, and can transfer personnel in extreme weather conditions with significant wave heights up to 2 metres, permitting greater operational windows.

Its air cushion motion control system provides significant advantages, with smoother and more comfortable conditions on-board and increased operational days offshore, Bureau Veritas said.

The CWind Pioneer is being used at the Borssele 1 and 2 offshore wind farms in the Netherlands.

The vessel is the first of its kind with a hybrid diesel and battery electric power system, which enables it to operate purely on battery power alongside or at slow speeds, such as when transiting restricted waterways or on standby in the wind farm.

This Electric Hybrid technology reduces engine wear and consequently maintenance costs. The reduced noise and vibration levels also provide greater comfort for offshore personnel.

However, the electric hybrid system implementation comes with a good level of complexity that needs to be managed carefully, the classification society said.

BV’s notation ‘Electric-Hybrid’ addresses the complexity of these systems, defining requirements for storage, power distribution, control and instrumentation, as well as tests that must be carried out especially when it relates to power management and critical safety considerations, such as thermal runaway.

CWind has developed their own training course for operators of the CWind Pioneer, ensuring the crew have the skills necessary to manage the systems onboard.

Herman Spilker, VP North Europe for Bureau Veritas, said: ”Through the diversity of our fleet, Bureau Veritas has built high technical expertise which help support the development of the CWind Pioneer’s step-change design and eco-friendly operations. We are proud of this superb achievement and we wish its technicians and crew safe and comfortable sailing.”

Photo: CWind Pioneer SES; Photo: CWind