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Electric winches developed for tugs

Fri 04 Aug 2017 by Martyn Wingrove

Electric winches developed for tugs
Kimmo Rauma (Visedo): “The revolution to electrify more marine applications rolls on”

Finland’s electric drivetrain manufacturer Visedo and Norway’s marine technology group Kongsberg Evotec have teamed up to develop and produce electric-driven deck handling winches. They expect these will replace traditional hydraulic winches on tugs.

Together they will integrate electric components into existing winch designs to enable them to be electronically controlled. This will make them more efficient and reactive to commands than hydraulic winches, according to Visedo founder and chief executive Kimmo Rauma. 

He said the electric drive technology will lower fuel costs and associated emissions and hinted that other applications are being planned. “The revolution to electrify more marine applications rolls on,” he said.

Kongsberg Evotec general manager Steinar Aabelvik said the agreement with Visedo will enable the company to introduce new products into the marine handling market. “In particular, we are focused on developing weight and space-saving solutions that at the same time remain competitive,” he explained.

Kongsberg Evotec supplies handling systems for offshore equipment including remotely operated vehicles and seismic survey cables. Visedo also struck a deal in June with Veth Propulsion to jointly develop an integrated L-Drive compact and efficient electric propulsion device with a permanent magnet motor for tugs (see page 32).

Rapp Marine has developed electric-driven tow winches for tugboats, using its experience in supplying similar winches for other industries, such as research ships, oil and gas offshore and fishing vessels. Its new electric products for the workboat and tug markets are designed to replace hydraulic winches, which Rapp Marine said are less dependable and need more maintenance than electric ones.

Its first products are for the North American tugboat market. Rapp Marine has built an electric-driven, double-drum tow winch for a new tractor tug that is being built by JT Marine Shipyard in Vancouver, Washington state, USA. The tugboat was designed by Jensen Maritime for Baydelta Navigation subsidiary Vessel Chartering.

Rapp Marine said the main drum of the winch can store 760m of 2.5in (63.5mm) steel wire and the store drum can accommodate 670m of 2.25in (57.2mm) wire. The main drive is a 75kW motor that enables the winch to pull more than 75 tonnes. There is a secondary electric drive that serves as a back-up to the main drive. The winch can be controlled from the bridge or from the deck controls.

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