DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – November 2, 2021 – A new patrol boat just launched by Ribcraft in Dubai is powered by an exclusive hybrid electric system supplied by Transfluid and its distributor Elcome International.
The two companies collaborated to design and install the cost-effective diesel-electric system for the nine-meter Ribcraft professional rigid hull inflatable boat. A Patrol RHIB was required for the surveillance of protected environmental areas with zero environmental impact, while being able to operate at speeds exceeding 40 knots for safety and security missions.
Elcome was responsible for all aspects of specifying, integrating, installing, testing and commissioning the Transfluid hybrid system, which can operate in pure electric, engine or booster mode. All systems and equipment on board have been specified and designed in collaboration with Ribcraft’s team of technical designers and naval architects.
The system architecture, developed by Transfluid, incorporates a clutch and transmission that enables fast and seamless switching between modes. When the clutch is disengaged, the vessel runs solely on battery power, providing emission-free and silent running. When in “engine” mode, the clutch is engaged and the twin Volvo Penta D4 DPH Diesel propel the boat and can also recharge the batteries if required at the touch of a button. In the “booster” mode, the battery-driven electric motor and Diesel engines deliver maximum thrust for powertrain.
The boat can run efficiently and quietly in electric mode while patrolling at low speeds or in sheltered waters and quickly switch to high speed operation as needed.
The Diesels can be brought online while running on electric power to recharge batteries as needed to extend the operating range. The lithium batteries can also be charged from a shore power connection when at the pier.
The completely integrated turnkey solution utilizes a proprietary electronic controller that communicates with all components through a CAN Bus protocol. Transfluid hybrid modules, batteries and electric motors are approved by DNV.
The three operational modes enable the boat operator to use smaller, less expensive and more efficient Diesel engines, yielding substantial savings in fuel consumption and longer maintenance intervals without sacrificing performance. The system also provides more flexibility for boats operating in and out of environmentally protected areas, while delivering improved working conditions for the crew, with no Diesel fumes or noise when running in the electric mode.
“The demand for marine electric and hybrid propulsion systems is growing rapidly worldwide, driven by growing awareness of environmental sustainability and a desire to reduce operational and maintenance costs,” said Jimmy Grewal, executive director of Elcome International.
“The Transfluid Diesel-electric hybrid system developed for the new Ribcraft patrol boat incorporates an easy ‘plug-and-play’design that can be cost-effectively installed on newbuilds or existing vessels,” said Gianluigi Taroni, sales director, Transfluid SpA.
“Transfluid and Elcome have been excellent partners for the Ribcraft 9.0 Patrol RHIB, and we look forward to further collaboration with their talented engineering and application teams on future projects,” said Adelina Florescu, business development manager, Ribcraft.