They launch the first electric SOV that can be charged at sea

Isbel Lázaro.

SOV eléctrico de Damen

Inspenet, December 5, 2023.

Damen , the Netherlands-based shipyard, has officially unveiled its latest vessel, an all-electric Service Operations Vessel (SOV) capable of recharging at sea.

This electric SOV is an all-electric variant of its 70-metre long hybrid service vessel, specifically designed to support offshore wind farm operations. With offshore recharging capability, this vessel paves the way for significant emissions reductions in offshore wind farm maintenance activities.

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Electric SOV Details

The new SOV 7017 E is a ship that is 70 meters long and 17 meters wide, making it the largest electric SOV designed specifically for maintenance tasks in offshore wind farms.

Although it incorporates two HVO or diesel generators, these are designed as backup in case of emergency. With 60 cabins for crew and 40 for technicians, the vessel is well equipped with ample storage, workshop and deck space to carry out various transport and work tasks.

One of the most notable features of the SOV 7017 E is its advanced battery system, which incorporates a lithium iron phosphate battery system with a capacity of 15 MWh, allowing approximately 98% of all-electric operations throughout the day, or a 10 MWh battery bank for 75% of the electrical operations. The propulsion system consists of four 900 kW azimuthal thrusters arranged in a double-ended configuration, achieving a maximum speed of 12 knots (22 km/h).

Benefits of electric SOV

Damen began exploring the feasibility of an electric SOV three years ago with the aim of making operations at offshore wind farms more sustainable. For offshore loading, Damen’s collaboration with UK-based MJR Power & Automation has been crucial. This company previously developed an offshore loading system for a crew transfer vessel.

The innovative offshore charging solution uses the vessel’s motion-compensated gangway to establish a connection with a wind turbine or offshore substation, allowing the battery to be charged at sea via a 4MW charger connector, sufficient for a 70 meter boat. Charging is carried out in low-consumption “green” DP mode, thus ensuring energy efficiency.

The company has estimated that a single turbine has the capacity to fully charge the ship’s battery in just a few hours. Although wind turbines and offshore substations will need to have marine charging stations installed, existing marine infrastructure can of course be used for this purpose.

Control of the gangway is carried out from the wheelhouse, eliminating the need for manual intervention by the loading team. MJR is currently developing an expanded 8 MW shore charging system, which will enable the charging of larger vessels with dimensions of up to 90 metres.

The launch of the SOV 7017 E product demonstrates that the technology exists to make offshore operations all-electric ,” said Mark Couwenberg, product manager for Damen Service Operations Vessel.

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