Finland, July 2, 2018 – Yaskawa Environmental Energy / The Switch won ‘Engineering Team of the Year’ award at the Electric & Hybrid Marine World Expo in Amsterdam, Netherlands. The award was won for the extraordinary achievement of conducting a successful Factory Acceptance Test (FAT) for The Switch Electronic Bus Link breaker (EBL), customized to a specific vessel’s needs within a six-month window.
The criteria for winning the award included engineering feats in overcoming massive technical or engineering challenges, making significant breakthroughs and developing brand-new innovations.
“I can’t think of a more deserving recipient of this brand-new award than The Switch’s Electronic Bus Link breaker development team. What these five gentlemen have achieved in such a short amount of time is truly impressive, and exemplifies why new technology in the marine industry is being developed at such a rapid pace,” John Thornton, editor, Electric & Hybrid Marine Technology International; co-chairman, Electric & Hybrid Marine Awards.
The award-winning team members are Chief Engineer in Power Electronics Terje Rogne, Senior R&D Engineer in Power Electronics Pål Andreassen, Senior R&D Engineer in Motor Software William Gullvik, and Senior Design Engineer in Firmware Øyvin Eikeland. The team was led by The Switch Norway General Manager Asbjørn Halsebakke.
Working to a very tight deadline, the five-person team successfully developed and tested three brand-new EBLs in just six months, prior to delivery on an advanced offshore vessel. Working with The Switch’s sourcing, assembly and engineering departments in Norway and Finland, the team delivered the product on time, tailored to the undisclosed end customer’s needs.
“We only received the original order in September last year, so it’s been a tight turnaround,” comments Halsebakke.
The FAT was conducted in Trondheim under the supervision of class society DNV-GL and the undisclosed end customers. No issues were recorded with the first three EBL units to undergo stringent testing. An additional three units will undergo the same testing prior to delivery on an advanced offshore vessel.
The EBL is a key element within the DC-Hub – a game-changer in DC power distribution
“The next step will see full load testing onboard the vessel with the EBL working to enable our simple, reliable, robust and very cost-effective DC-Hub solution. We see this as the future of sustainable maritime operations, so it’s very satisfying to observe the products making headway in the market,” says Halsebakke.
The DC-Hub optimizes operational performance and environmental standards by allowing vessel generators to run at optimal efficiency, with batteries handling any necessary load changes, thus significantly reducing fuel consumption. Batteries can also be used as standby power sources, lowering maintenance costs and energy consumption. Any potential power source can be easily connected to the DC grid. This effectively future-proofs vessels.
The EBL is a crucial part of the DC-Hub. It is paramount the EBL performs to the highest standards of quality, efficiency and reliability. It works to connect the vessel’s DC-Hubs and diesel engines, and ensures efficient ongoing operations, even if a critical fault occurs. This is a step forward for an industry that is increasing its focus on utilizing and producing environmental energy in the most sustainable manner.
Oliver Taylor, Event Director, Risto Ahvo, Vice President, Marine Business Unit, Yaskawa Environmental Energy / The Switch and Terje Rogne, Chief Engineer, Power Electronics, Yaskawa Environmental Energy / The Switch, on stage with the Engineering Team of the Year award.