Swedish marine propellers manufacturer Berg Propulsion has signed a key supplier and cooperation agreement with Helsinki-based Yaskawa Environmental Energy/The Switch to accelerate drive into electric propulsion.

The cooperation specifically offers the efficiency of 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,” said Stefan Sedersten, CEO. “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.”
Berg’s role is to take responsibility for complete system definition, installation, commissioning, and customer care. On the other hand, Yaskawa/The Switch will provide permanent magnet (PM) machines and power electronics products. It will also offer technical and training support.
“The direct-drive electric propulsion market for large ships based on PM technology is right now in its infancy,” said Miika Reinikka, Yaskawa/The Switch 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.”

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

Berg teams up with Yaskawa for electric propulsion
Direct drive component layout; Courtesy of Berg

Roles of Berg, Yaskawa, The Swith in electric propulsion

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

Source: Offshore Energy