Bakker Sliedrecht extends lifespan of Irish Lights vessel Granuaile

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26 November 2020

Bakker Sliedrecht will retrofit the propulsion drives of the Commissioners of Irish Lights vessel Granuaile early next year. This will extend the lifespan and service operations of the vessel for the remainder of her working life.

At the beginning of this century, electrical system integrator Bakker Sliedrecht supplied and installed the drive modules for the multi-functional vessel Granuaile, at the time one of the most advanced vessels of its type in the world. During her active service life, Bakker Sliedrecht carried out regular maintenance.

Multi-functional work vessel Granuaile

The Commisioners of Irish Lights are responsible for the provision of over 350 general Aids to Navigation (lighthouses, beacons and buoys), the superintendence and management of over 3,000 local Aids to Navigation. They are also providing a response to wreck of new dangers to navigation around the island of Ireland. 

The Granuaile is a versatile class 1 DP vessel that is widely used for the management and maintenance program. The vessel has a 20t crane, towing and tugger winches, a large aft deck, a modern spacious bridge and a helipad. It is used, among other things, for buoy deployment, measurements at sea, inspection, sampling and mapping of shipwrecks and seabeds, cable and pipeline route survey, salvage and helicopter operations. 

Solving dimensional differences between ACS600 and ACS880 

The vessel has diesel-electric propulsion, powered by two 1100 kW electro motors. The Granuaile also has a 1200 kW electromotor for the bow thruster. The three ACS600 frequency drives that drive the electric motors are obsolete and are no longer supported by the supplier. That is why Bakker Sliedrecht is replacing them with new ACS880 modules. However, space on board is limited and the panels in which the new modules are to be installed turned out to be difficult to reach. Bakker Sliedrecht will solve this problem by building new frequency inverter modules in the panels of the brake chopper. This way, they are easily accessible. The modules for the brake chopper are moved to the panels of the old frequency drives. What also makes the project special is that it concerns a retrofit of air-cooled instead of water-cooled modules.

A boom in retrofits

Bakker Sliedrecht equipped many vessels with ASC600 drives around the turn of the century. Many of those modules now need to be replaced to keep the vessel in service. For example, Bakker Sliedrecht recently replaced all the frequency drives of several naval vessels. Account Manager John Hollemans and Project Manager Fred Hordijk of Bakker Sliedrecht: “Since our installed base with ASC600 drives is large and these have become obsolete, we expect to see more similar retrofits in the near future. To serve our customers the best way possible, we have developed a standard “box in box” technical solution. This way, the refit can be done fast and efficiently. Bakker Sliedrecht can also help other customers with an existing ACS600 installation using the standard box in box solution."

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