Norsafe has joined forces with ZEM (Zero Emission Maritime Solutions), DNV-GL and NMA (Norwegian Maritime Authority) to assess the feasibility of a new electrically powered freefall concept with the goal of minimising the operation and maintenance costs associated with lifeboats. A conceptual study and evaluation of the use of electrical propulsion equipment was carried out. Norsafe’s GES 45 freefall lifeboat was the basis of the study and involved removing all diesel related equipment and replacing it with an electric propulsion system.
The study involved both full scale and model scale tests, measurements, and simulations, and has shown that the complex components are easily replaced by electrical alternatives. The weight of the components remains within a reasonable range, and the increase in cost is minimal. A prototype is realised and available for tests and presentation. The E-GES electric freefall solution, as it has been named, provides an environmentally friendly alternative to diesel propulsion lifeboat systems.
According to Norsafe, some of the benefits are no emissions, remote monitoring, significantly reduced maintenance costs due to easier maintenance, simplified access to evaluate the condition of the equipment and a higher level of comfort due to the absence of exhaust and emissions, heat, noise or vibration.