The maritime and scientific community have set themselves the ambitious target to map the entire ocean floor by 2030. Volvo Penta is doing its part to meet this goal – by helping to power a novel fleet of unmanned surface robots for subsea exploration.
Volvo Penta and Danfoss Editron have been selected to be part of a truly unique venture. The companies have been commissioned by Grovfjord Mek. Verksted (GMV) shipyard to power the world’s first fleet of autonomous robot exploration vessels for commercial use.
The seafloor analysis and oceanography company – Ocean Infinity – has invested in the ‘Armada’ fleet of super-advanced unmanned vessels. The fleet will be made up of two sizes of vessels, both of which will be 100% diesel-electric.
Each vessel will be able to launch separate remotely-operated underwater vehicles (ROVs). These unmanned submarine-like ROVs will reach depths of up to 6000m and carry out surveys on pipeline routes as well as collect vital seismic data.
These fully hybrid-electric vessels will be powered by Volvo Penta DC gensets and Danfoss DC grid controls. Danfoss will provide the energy management system and propulsion control for each vessel while the engines behind the power management will be variable speed gensets delivered by Volvo Penta.
The Volvo Penta D8 MH variable-speed engine will power the marine generator sets on board. This all-new D8 engine is a perfect match for the autonomous vessels due to its compact size and high power to weight ratio. Additionally, the engine’s low fuel consumption plays a big role in the significant CO2 reduction.
The first four vessels in the Armada fleet are due to be delivered to Ocean Infinity in 2021, with the remaining robots completed in the next months.