Verhoef Launches First Electric Powered Freefall Lifeboat - Offshore Technology | Oil and Gas News and Market Analysis
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Verhoef Launches First Electric Powered Freefall Lifeboat


VERHOEF, the Dutch builder of aluminum freefall lifeboats has now successfully performed full-scale tests with the first freefall lifeboat, powered by an electric motor.

The innovation and application of electric power instead of a diesel engine is another example of VERHOEF’S dedication to be the front runner of advanced safety technology at sea.

"After a number of years spent on research and development, we have reached the phase to introduce this innovation to the industry," said Martin Verhoef, CEO of VERHOEF Aluminum BV.

"The use of an electric-powered engine in a lifeboat, launched freefall or conventional, has so many advantages that we can no longer put this novelty aside. Especially useful for those facilities in areas where rescue from the lifeboat will not take a long time or a long sailing phase".

Tests showed already the immediate benefit, the highest level of reliability and improved human comfort (DNV-OS-E406) as the electric powered engine does not make any noise. But importantly, the maintenance cost offshore and onboard ships will also be reduced significantly.

Verhoef added: "Our maintenance engineers are very enthusiastic about this development, as it allows them to make quick and efficient inspections on the performance of the engine and batteries".

As lifeboat diesel engines are only rarely used, the issue of soot (black powder left in the engine) often results in high cost for maintenance, and does reduce the performance of the traditional diesel engine in the lifeboat. In general, the maintenance of the diesel engine requires about 75% of the regular inspection time and cost.

VERHOEF has used an advanced type of LI-ion batteries set, with a proven performance from the automotive.

"Moore’s Law is on our side, and we are convinced that within one or two years another advanced type of Li-ion batteries has become available to extend the capacity of the batteries even further".

New development is even on going to monitor the condition of the equipment remote.

Discussions with representatives from IMO have already commenced, in order to start an evaluation of this novelty, ultimately leading to an amendment of the Regulation to allow the use of an electric-powered (freefall) lifeboat on ships and offshore platforms.

For more information, please contact VERHOEF.

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