Article

Hybrid-electric Pilot Boat Delivered in Singapore


published on 9 April 2021 834

Penguin International Limited has delivered Singapore’s first hybrid-powered ship - a 15-metre, 12-pax aluminium pilot boat christened "Penguin Tenaga".

Built, owned and operated by Penguin, the vessel is certified by Bureau Veritas with a "ZE" (zero emission) class notation and is capable of running in pure electric mode at 5 knots for more than 30 minutes. In conventional diesel mode, the vessel can reach a maximum speed of 24 knots.

In addition, solar panels installed on the roof of "Penguin Tenaga" generate electrical energy that is used to recharge mobile devices on board and supplement the vessel's "hotel load".

The vessel design is based on the same hullform as two of Penguin’s existing monohull pilot boats that are currently operating for Shell Eastern Petroleum (Pte) Ltd in Singapore.

"Penguin Tenaga" will shortly be deployed to Pulau Bukom to join Penguin’s fleet of workboats that are supporting Shell’s oil refinery and petrochemicals hub.

The on-board electric-hybrid propulsion system was supplied by Sea Forrest Power Solutions Pte Ltd, a subsidiary of BH Global Corporation Limited. It features an ergonomic graphic user interface and can automatically switch the propulsion mode from diesel to hybrid to pure electric depending on the engine RPM.

The EDITRON electric motors and inverters were supplied by Danfoss Power Solutions Pte Ltd, the 42.6 kWh of lithium ion batteries were supplied by Durapower Technology (Singapore) Pte Ltd and the gearbox, shafts and propellers were supplied by ZF Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd.

The operation of "Penguin Tenaga" is similar to driving a regular hybrid car: At higher speeds, the diesel engine charges the batteries, while at lower speeds, the energy stored in the batteries powers the propulsion. In the process, fuel consumption, emissions and noise are reduced.

Currently, there are limited applications for pure electric vessels in Singapore due to the lack of charging infrastructure. However, that could change in coming years as the country electrifies its maritime eco-system. Till then, electric-hybrid vessels like "Penguin Tenaga" are the most sensible solution, technically and commercially.
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