The offshore oil and gas industry is set for more hybrid battery power solutions with the announcement that a lithium-ion battery will be installed on Northern Drilling's West Mira offshore drilling rig.
The rig is a sixth-generation, ultra-deepwater semi-submersible designed by Moss Maritime and will be the world's first modern drilling rig to operate a low-emission hybrid (diesel-electric) power plant using lithium-ion energy storage. The solution, from Siemens, consists of four converter-battery systems for a total maximum power of six megawatts.
Offshore rigs have highly variable power consumption for drilling and dynamic positioning. By incorporating energy storage, it is possible to reduce the run-time of diesel engines and keep them operating on an optimized combustion level. The installation of Siemens' BlueVault on West Mira will result in an estimated 42 percent reduction in the run-time of on-platform diesel engines, reducing CO2 emissions by 15 percent and NOx emissions by 12 percent, which is equivalent to annual emissions from approximately 10,000 automobiles.
The batteries will be charged from the rig's diesel-electric generators and used for supplying power during peak load times. In addition, they will serve as backup to prevent blackout situations and provide power to the thrusters in the unlikely event of loss of all running machinery.
The energy storage solution that will be supplied to West Mira is based on field-proven technology, which has been installed in more than 60 marine vessels worldwide, including the world's first electric car ferry, MF Ampere, in Norway.
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