VESSEL REVIEW | Penguin Tenaga – New pilot launch is Singapore’s first hybrid-powered vessel

Photo: BH Global

Penguin Shipyard of Singapore has completed construction of a new aluminium vessel for use by the pilotage fleet of parent company Penguin International.

Classed by Bureau Veritas with the “Electric Hybrid” and “ZE” (zero emission) notations, Penguin Tenaga will be operated by Penguin alongside the company’s other workboats in support of Shell Eastern Petroleum’s oil and petrochemicals refinery activities at Pulau Bukom island some five kilometres south of the main island of Singapore.

Penguin said the 16- by five-metre Penguin Tenaga is most notable for its being the first hybrid-powered vessel to be built and operated in Singapore. The boat was designed to be capable of running on pure electric mode at seven knots for up to 25 minutes while conventional diesel mode will enable it to reach a maximum speed of 24 knots. A hybrid operating mode, wherein electrical power augments the power generated by the diesel engines, is available as well.

As with many diesel-electric-powered vessels, the pilot boat’s batteries may be charged while the diesel engines are in operation during high-speed sailings, thus reserving the electrical propulsion for use in low-speed sailings to further reduce emissions in Singapore’s busy port waters.

Photo: Penguin International

The electric hybrid propulsion system and controls on Penguin Tenaga were provided by BH Global Corporation subsidiary Sea Forrest Power Solutions. Electric power is stored in a 42.6kWh energy storage system consisting of lithium-ion batteries provided by Durapower Technology while ZF supplied the gearbox, the shafts, and the propellers.

BH Global said that the hybrid system was designed for ease of use, hence the incorporation of an ergonomic graphic user interface and a feature that can automatically switch the propulsion mode from diesel to hybrid to pure electric depending on operational requirements. This gives the boat a high degree of flexibility, as it is able to switch to whichever propulsion mode is more efficient for the task at hand even when underway. Danfoss Editron – which supplied the vessel’s two electric motors, four inverters, and an inductor – has claimed that emissions reductions of between 10 and 20 per cent can be achieved compared to traditional diesel-powered pilot boats.

Solar panels have also been installed on the roof of the wheelhouse to generate electricity that is exclusively for recharging the occupants’ mobile devices and for supplementing the vessel’s hotel load. This means that much of the electrical power supplied by the onboard batteries will still be utilised for propulsion, a necessary attribute in light of the vessel’s expected heavy use in support of Shell’s Pulau Bukom refinery operations.

Penguin Tenaga has seating for two operators and 12 pilots/passengers.

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Penguin Tenaga
Type of vessel:Pilot boat
Classification:Bureau Veritas
Owner:Penguin International, Singapore
Operator:Penguin International, Singapore
Builder:Penguin Shipyard, Singapore
Hull construction material:Aluminium
Superstructure construction material:Aluminium
Deck construction material:Aluminium
Length overall:16 metres
Beam:5.0 metres
Main engines:2
Gearboxes:2 x ZF
Propulsion:2 x ZF propellers
Auxiliary engines:2 x Danfoss Editron
Maximum speed:24 knots
Batteries:Durapower Technology lithium-ion
Other electronics:Sea Forrest Power Solutions electric hybrid and control system
Other equipment installed:4 x Danfoss Editron inverters; Danfoss Editron inductor; solar panels on wheelhouse
Type of fuel:Diesel; battery power

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