The Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency is launching a new icebreaker concept equipped with an innovative motorised removable bow.
The removable bow, to be delivered by Turku Repair Yard Ltd, is part of the Winter Navigation Motorways of the Sea II project. The €7.6 million scheme, co-funded by EU Connecting Europe Facility programme, aims to develop and enhance the maritime winter navigation system and its safety during winter times. One of its key targets is the creation of a motorised icebreaking removable bow concept, which will enable ice-strengthened vessels to be used as icebreakers during the winter.
Danfoss Editron’s hydrid electric system is powering the removable bow with two generators, built as a DC system, and two propulsion systems. In addition, the company has provided a front supercapacitor so that peak powers can be efficiently controlled. The Editron software also cuts fuel and delivers high efficiencies as the diesel-generators in the DC system can be driven at variable speeds. The power plan and propulsion system of the removable bow has been designed to be operated from the pusher tug wheelhouse, and the machinery can operate unmanned.
Jukka Väisänen, Project Operator at Väylä, commented: “Lake Saimaa’s ice is more solid than sea ice and can reach up to 80cm thick. Developing this innovative design concept for the removable bow and equipping it with its own propulsion system means that we will achieve savings in capital costs, as we will charter the pusher for only part of the year. We are also expecting to see savings in fuel consumption thanks to the hybrid propulsion system.”
Kari Savolainen, Project Manager at Danfoss Editron, added: “Our headquarters are in Lappeenranta, so we can see first-hand how harsh winter conditions directly impact shipping transport. This new kind of removable bow will make the whole industry more efficient and sustainable, as it enables virtually any kind of tug to become an ice-breaker ship. Our Editron system is easily adaptable for future optimisations and can be converted to a fully-electric system if needed.”
The icebreaker will be moored in Mustola harbour in Lappeenranta, Finland and will operate in the Lake Saimaa area from winter 2020.