Full speed ahead with Volvo Penta quad IPS

Volvo Penta’s IPS drive system celebrated a decade in production this year — coinciding with the inaugural launch of the Volvo Penta IPS quad commercial installation in four Njord Offshore crew transfer catamarans. A range of Volvo Penta IPS solutions will be exhibited at Seawork International in Southampton, UK, June 16 to 18.

A lot can happen in 10 years. Just a decade ago Volvo Penta introduced its revolutionary Inboard Performance System (IPS), forever changing the face of the leisure and commercial marine industries.

Coinciding with this milestone anniversary, the company is celebrating another breakthrough achievement that’s set to redefine crew transfer in the offshore renewable industry: the first quadruple Volvo Penta IPS pods installed in commercial boats — a fleet of transfer vessels managed by Njord Offshore.

“We have been delighted with the performance of our new catamarans in the few short months since their arrival,” says Tom Mehew, director of Njord Offshore. “The quadruple system is a resounding success with our customers, especially thanks to the greatly improved redundancy, maneuverability, speed and fuel efficiency. Strategic Marine, the boat builder, also noted how easy the installation process was.”

As the commercial and technical manager of a fleet of 21-meter and 26-meter transfer vessels, UK-based Njord Offshore recently received two new 26-meter catamarans with quadruple Volvo Penta IPS installations, which are now in operation — another two have been commissioned and will be delivered in September 2015. These complete propulsion systems are built with Volvo Penta D13 marine engines and IPS900 pod units controlled by Volvo Penta EVC system.

“Njord Odin, the first of four Volvo Penta-powered catamarans to be delivered to us, worked in the North Helgoland cluster earlier this month,” explains Tom. “Of around 30 vessels that regularly work on and around the windfarms there, Njord Odin was the only one to continue work during a bout of bad weather in the area.

“Our charterers have been very pleased with the performance of Njord Odin — it provides them and their technicians with a much more reliable and effective logistical solution. With three additional 26-meter new builds, all containing quad Volvo Penta IPS, on the way later this year, we’re looking forward to Njord Freyr, Njord Magni and Njord Thor offering even more charterers the same excellent advantages.”

The bigger the better
With crew transfer vessels in the marine commercial industry growing in size year on year, Volvo Penta is able to offer highly efficient quadruple installations, with the added redundancy that comes with four separate engines and drivelines.

In demanding work environments, Volvo Penta IPS outperforms standard inboard shafts in fuel efficiency, performance, acceleration and noise levels — offering operators a high-performing system in every respect. And now, with the option of a quad installation, a greater range of customers can benefit from the innovative system.

“In recent times Volvo Penta has gained considerable strength in the 24- to 30-meter range, which includes patrol and pilot boats, passenger ferries and service vessels,” says Gerard Törneman, sales project manager for Volvo Penta Marine Commercial. “In this type of boat the quad installation will take up less space than inboard shafts, and, being three to five tons lighter than other propulsion and engine systems, it offers more speed, a longer range and lower fuel consumption.”

The power of four
“The expert maneuverability and handling of a vessel fitted with Volvo Penta’s quad installation means that it can be held in a steady position against the wind turbine, more or less undisturbed by current, wind or waves, thanks to the steering and high thrust,” Gerard explains. “Increasing numbers of commercial customers, such as Njord Offshore, are realizing that Volvo Penta IPS, with its precision maneuverability and positioning functionalities, is a good match for crew transfer in the offshore industry.”

The active propulsion system is supported by Volvo Penta’s EVC system that controls all four drive units in the quad installation. The Volvo Penta IPS joystick docking system allows the operator to move the vessel sideways, rotate it on the spot and position it precisely against the wind farm pylon.

Volvo Penta IPS is designed to make life easy for shipyards — the engines, drive and the control system are all perfectly matched and ready to connect, keeping installation time to a minimum. And with one supplier taking full responsibility for the complete system, lag time during the commissioning phase is limited.

Volvo Penta will be exhibiting at Seawork International at the ABP Port of Southampton in the UK, June 16 to 18. Volvo Penta can be found at stand A83, where it will display a D4 -225/DPH (solas), a Volvo Penta IPS 900 and a D13-600 MH. Volvo Penta will also offer test runs with the French Volvo Penta IPS-powered pilot boat Phantom, designed by naval architect Jérōme Remous and built by yard Sibiril Technologies.