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DNV GL seeks partners for offshore hybrid power concept

09th May 2014

DNV GL is proposing a new hybrid power concept for offshore units using batteries in combination with traditional power generation equipment.

DNV GL seeks partners for offshore hybrid power concept
The maritime industry started to adopt this technology five years ago not just because of the environmental benefits, but also because it adds financial value and performance benefits. In the automotive industry there is typically about a 20 per cent fuel saving with the use of a hybrid system, but in some maritime applications there is up to a 40 per cent saving and DNV GL believes the same levels could be achieved in the oil and gas industr

The concept has already delivered multiple advantages in the maritime and automotive industries, but has not yet been applied in the oil and gas industry.

“We are inviting the oil and gas sector to jointly develop a solution for incorporating hybrid power systems in the offshore industry. This will reduce costs, fuel consumption and emissions” said Christian Markussen, subsea business development director at DNV GL Oil & Gas.

Oil and gas operators are under constant pressure to reduce both cost and emissions - two requirements that are conflicting. An important means of achieving these reductions is by improving energy efficiency, which DNV GL suggests can be done by using a hybrid system.

The concept that DNV GL is proposing is similar to that used in the automotive industry. The maritime industry started to adopt this technology five years ago not just because of the environmental benefits, but also because it adds financial value and performance benefits. In the automotive industry there is typically about a 20 per cent fuel saving with the use of a hybrid system, but in some maritime applications there is up to a 40 per cent saving and DNV GL believes the same levels could be achieved in the oil and gas industry.

“While this hybrid technology has matured in the maritime industry it has not yet been used in the offshore industry.  We think it is now ready to be applied to new offshore developments. Such a solution can combine conventional gas turbine generators, power from shore through a subsea power cable, another nearby offshore facility for power sharing or even renewable energy sources,” said Markussen.

He explains further that the reduced size of the power generator is a major advantage with a hybrid approach. Today, a conventional offshore facility is typically powered by three gas turbine generator sets, plus a spare one for redundancy. Here the total installed power is dimensioned according to the peak power requirement, but is normally operated at a much lower power level. In addition, the gas turbines are operated at low partial-load in order to have reserve capacity to be ready to react to sudden power demands. This result in low power generation efficiency and thus the fuel consumption and CO2 emissions are higher per unit of power.

“However, with a hybrid system the power generation becomes optimised for an average load rather than a peak load, and hence the power generation capacity can be reduced. A battery, like those used in maritime vessels, will act as a buffer and supply power when needed or charge up when demand is low,” he explained.

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