ABB to equip new MBARI research vessel
ABB has announced that it will provide electrical integration technology to support the operations of a new research vessel being built for the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) at the Freire shipyard in Vigo, Spain.
Earlier this year, MBARI, located in Moss Landing, Calif., Announced the construction of a new state-of-the-art research vessel designed by Seattle-based Glosten and named in honor of its founder, David Packard. The 50-meter vessel is expected to be delivered in 2023.
The R / V David Packard will offer a wide range of ABB’s electrical, digital and connected solutions, and will be the world’s first research vessel to feature ABB’s award-winning Onboard DC Grid power system platform.
Onboard DC Grid is particularly well suited for research vessels, as its quiet operation on board ensures minimal interference with scientific instruments and helps reduce levels of underwater noise radiated beneath the vessel’s hull, ABB said. The system will also help the vessel achieve increased fault tolerance, and with fewer components than a conventional AC solution, it will allow flexible placement of electrical equipment on board. In addition to the space savings, configuring the on-board DC grid will save over 2000 kg, weighing approximately 30% less than a comparable AC system. While optimizing vessel efficiency and responsiveness, the Onboard DC Grid will enable MBARI to switch to zero-emission energy sources in the future.
The ABB Ability System 800xA distributed control system will integrate ABB’s digital, power, propulsion, low-voltage distribution and vessel management systems into a single-view platform, enabling crew and crews ashore to get a complete overview of all the information needed to operate the vessel in the safest and most efficient manner. The overall power configuration will be controlled by ABB’s power and energy management system (PEMS), which will also increase fault tolerance and provide a high degree of reliability, according to ABB.
The R / V David Packard will be connected to the ABB Ability Collaborative Operations Center infrastructure, which monitors the performance of ABB technology on board and remotely connects operators to ABB experts.
Upon delivery, the ship with 18 scientists and a crew of 12 on board will support MBARI’s work to study the depths of Monterey Bay and beyond. The ship will allow further exploration of Monterey Canyon, one of the deepest submarine canyons off the west coast of the United States, which stretches over 470 kilometers offshore and plunges some 4 000 meters deep.
“The R / V David Packard will expand the reach of MBARI and enhance our research capabilities at a time when MBARI’s work to explore and understand the ocean is more important than ever,” said Michael Kelly, director of maritime operations for MBARI.
The David Packard will replace MBARI’s current flagship research vessel, the Western Flyer, which will be retired in fall 2022.