Improving the energy efficiency of fishing boats

15 Jun 2016
VarShaft® concept

VarShaft® concept

The first prototype of Barillec’s latest innovation - the VarShaft® system - is now available in its showroom in Concarneau, France.

VarShaft® has been especially developed to improve the energy efficiency of fishing boats and other service vessels, by reducing the fuel consumption by up to 15%.

Barillec says that VarShaft®is the answer to the economical and environmental challenges of fleet modernisation and renewal.

Many French shipowners are already showing interest in this innovative concept and, to answer the demand and to propose a standard system that could work in many different configurations (available power, fixed or variable pitch, etc.). Barillec has built a prototype to bench the performance of the system. The first VarShaft® unit can deliver 60kVA of electrical power from 700rpm to 2,200rpm. 

The aim of VarShaft® is to supply an efficient, stable and qualitative electrical network, no matter of propulsion engine speed. By using electronic drives, a variable speed generator can deliver a fixed voltage and frequency to the network. While meeting professional needs, the propulsion engine runs more efficiently and burns less fuel. Thus, VarShaft® significantly reduces greenhouse gases emissions, reducing the environmental impact. 

VarShaft® allows use of a fixed pitch shaft while offering enough power for a whole alternating current network. It provides power for traditional devices (pumps, hydraulic, chiller, etc.) that could be wisely fitted. It becomes easier to use and control the loads - this system avoids the stacking of auxiliary coupled on propulsion engine power take-off, always complex, hardly accessible and less efficient. 

The company says that VarShaft® is an effective and reliable answer to energy consumption and optimisation matters. While fuel prices are fairly low, return on investment is estimated between 24 and 48 months, depending on projects.

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