The Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) has taken delivery of HMCS HARRY DeWOLF, its first full-electric power and propulsion ice class patrol vessel. GE’s Power Conversion business was the designer and provider of the high-voltage electric power system and electric propulsion drive trains, with specialist capability for operations in multi-year ice, for the Arctic Offshore Patrol Ship (AOPS) HARRY DeWOLF-class of six vessels.
GE’s Integrated Full Electrical Power and Propulsion System (IFEP) for the AOPS vessels includes rugged induction propulsion motors, variable frequency drive converters for propulsion and bow thrusters, engine generators, medium voltage switchboards, distribution and propulsion transformers, bow thruster motor, commissioning and sea trials support. Field service personnel actively supported each of the sea trial events and provided training for RCN ship personnel, both on-board and dockside.
“GE Power Conversion’s dedicated AOPS team developed a close working relationship with the customer, Irving Shipbuilding Inc., maintaining an open line of communication that was instrumental in meeting this key milestone for the Royal Canadian Navy,” commented Ron Krivan, AOPS Program Manager at GE Power Conversion. “Our team will carry the same dynamics with Irving Shipbuilding moving forward in support of construction of AOPS 7 and 8 for the Canadian Coast Guard.”
For navies around the globe, power and energy are mission enablers. GE’s electric propulsion solution delivers energy efficiency, reduced cost-of-ownership and system redundancy for enhanced vessel operations in Canada’s Arctic waters. For the full-electric propulsion system, GE leveraged its proven technologies, building on recent experience in providing power and propulsion solutions for naval ice class vessels for South Africa and Chile, as well as other commercial vessels.
GE’s drive train for each of the two propulsion shafts includes its proven MV7000 variable frequency drive, which is used in many vessel types and industrial applications. This large user base ensures ready supply of spares and service support. Each shaft is directly powered by a slow speed induction motor with optimised design for ice operations, including an ability to deliver high intermittent over-torque at zero and low RPM should the propellers encounter heavy ice loads. This feature makes the AOPS propulsion solution highly suitable for a variety of other ice class vessels that could operate in the Arctic and Antarctic.
With 9MW of installed nominal power propulsion power, the IFEP system comprises all shipboard electrical power generation and propulsion. Offering high over-torque, the electric propulsion system eliminates the need for propulsion reduction gears, an important factor for ships operating in heavy, multi-year ice conditions.