Powering RSV Nuyina
RSV Nuyina can cruise efficiently in open water, operate silently (in ‘Silent R’ mode) during scientific operations, or continuously break ice up to 1.65 metres thick.
To do all these things the ship uses a hybrid propulsion system.
At its maximum speed of 16 knots, the ship uses two V16 diesel engines, which each provide 19,200 kilowatts of power to the two propellers.
When cruising at more economical speeds of 12–14 knots, it can use its four electric motors (7,400 kW each), powered by diesel generators.
When breaking ice, the ship uses all the power available to it, with both diesel engines, electric motors and diesel generators in operation.
In Silent R mode, for seafloor mapping or fish and krill detection, noise from the ship is minimised by slowing the speed to 8 knots and using just the electric motors and diesel generators. The generators have a flexible mounting system to absorb noisy vibrations. The ship’s hull has also been designed to minimise bubble sweepdown from the water surface, which interferes with the acoustic instruments.
Watch the animation and video below to learn more about powering RSV Nuyina.