Berg accelerates drive into electric propulsion

Berg Propulsion has signed a key supplier and cooperation agreement to provide systems integration capability for Yaskawa Environmental Energy / The Switch permanent magnet (PM) and power electronics products. The cooperation creates a new and combined force offering propulsion systems where electric motors directly drive the propeller shaft.

“This is the latest step in Berg’s strategy to become a fully fledged electrical propulsion systems integrator,” says Stefan Sedersten, CEO of Berg Propulsion. “This unique cooperation underlines the mainstream role we envisage for electric ship propulsion in the coming years, based on its efficiency and its ability to reduce emissions. Yaskawa / The Switch offer an innovative approach and a portfolio which provides an excellent match with Berg products and expertise. This is a partnership ready to deliver high-performance solutions in a market ripe for change.”

According to Sedersten, Berg’s integrator role would see the company take primary responsibility for complete system definition, installation, commissioning, and customer care. Yaskawa Environmental Energy / The Switch will provide permanent magnet (PM) machines and power electronics products, as well as offer technical and training support. The partners envisage working together on solution development to meet the demands of the rapidly evolving large-vessel market and carry out joint marketing activities.

“The direct-drive electric propulsion market for large ships based on PM technology is right now in its infancy,” says Miika Reinikka, Yaskawa Environmental Energy/The Switch Division president. “Strengthening our collaboration will enable us to influence the trajectory of the market by electrification and to provide energy-efficient, flexible and future-proof electric propulsion and power generation solutions. This will allow shipping companies to meet demanding emission reduction targets.”

Jonas Nyberg, managing director west, Berg Propulsion, comments: “Formalising this arrangement will allow us to build on the success of a number of electrical integration and hybrid vessel projects Berg has already overseen. Systems integration has become a core activity for Berg and is our fastest growing business area marketed and sold through our global sales and distribution network.”

Berg and Yaskawa Environmental Energy have already collaborated on an initial integrated project, delivering a gearless system to Canadian shipowner CSL to ensure that propulsion on board a large bulk carrier will be less vulnerable to ice damage.

With Berg responsible for systems design, automation and integration, shafts will be powered by The Switch direct-drive gearless 3 MW PM electric motors. Yaskawa Environmental Energy is also supplying PM generators, DC-Hubs with Electronic Bus Links and Electronic DC Breakers. Berg is also delivering fully feathering controllable-pitch propellers and its patented Twin Fin solution.

Berg claims the new combination of technology and systems integration expertise provides owners with a solution to convert vessel projects from geared installations to direct-drive applications with fixed pitch and controllable pitch propellers.

One response to “Berg accelerates drive into electric propulsion”

  1. Elizabeth Rolfs says:

    I fear that electrical impedance in water may interfere with the sonar of sea mammals. I know this has not yet been completely researched. Durham University for instance is still studying this. So before everyone gets carried away, should we not be cautious about sea going vessels adopting the technology? Perhaps this is OK for ferries and coastal vessels but we might be creating a new polluter. Please let us be sure that electric motors under water will not harm the underwater environment.