Hybrid drive systems are not only used in applications where mobility is involved, they also drive the drilling systems employed in the oil and gas industry. Together, the Canadian company Aspin Kemp & Associates (AKA) and Germany’s MAN Diesel & Turbo SE have developed a system where diesel generators supply the electrical energy needed for the drilling rig drives. Supercapacitors (“supercaps”) are used as buffers to ensure a reliable and uninterrupted power supply. In order to accommodate these supercaps safely, AKA relies on enclosure systems from Rittal.
Specialist for offshore applications
AKA, based in the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island, is a world-renowned provider of solutions for open sea and offshore applications in the oil and gas industry. Through its partnership with MAN Diesel & Turbo, the companies can offer their customers turnkey, end-to-end solutions for energy, drive and automation applications. One typical example is the hybrid solution used in drilling vessels, installed as hybrid drilling floor systems on production ships. If no buffer system is present, load fluctuations cannot be compensated for, which leads to fluctuations in output. In contrast, the new hybrid system flattens the load profile of the diesel generators. Fewer diesel engines are needed and efficiency is improved. The system enables a continuous process performance, even if the power supply should briefly fail.
Supercaps housed safely
In the innovative hybrid drilling floor, the diesel generators are coupled with supercaps that act as buffers to ensure the stability of the energy supply. Dozens of enclosures are needed to house the buffers. AKA relied on Rittal to solve this challenge and provide a suitable, customer-specific solution. This energy storage system, unique on the shipping and offshore market, required enclosures in which it was not enough to simply meet the usual standards. Rittal supplied a total of 114 enclosures for the project, including standard enclosures, as well as modified and EMC-compatible ones. These also contribute to operational safety and meet the requirements for shipping. As no adjustments could be made on site, the Rittal enclosures were fully adapted, ready for installation and delivered in accordance with the shipping regulations, including those of the DNVGL and ABS.
AKA’s hybrid drilling platform is the first of its kind; it has now been successfully put into operation on five deep-sea drilling vessels. The new system allows some of the generators to remain in stand-by mode and not operate continuously. This reduces wear on the diesel generators and cuts the amount of maintenance needed. At the same time, the energy consumption and pollutant emissions are reduced.