Tuesday, June 18, 2024
HomeNewsTransfluid chosen to power historic research vessel

Transfluid chosen to power historic research vessel

Transfluid’s HM3350 module has been chosen to power the historic Western Flyer renovation project, due to launch on its maiden voyage as a hybrid vessel in the last quarter of 2023.

The Flyer was originally built in 1937 in Tacoma, Washington, and is most known for being the boat chartered by John Steinbeck in his 1940 expedition to the Gulf of California chronicled in The Log from the Sea of Cortez.

The Western Flyer, Tacoma, prior to restoration
The Western Flyer, Tacoma, prior to restoration

The 77ft wooden fishing vessel has been billed as ‘the most famous research vessel to ever have sailed’ and is currently being restored by the Western Flyer Foundation which is recommissioning the craft as a green technology showcase.

The boat will be powered by a 425hp diesel engine onto which is mounted the HM3350 hybrid module with twin 100hp electric machines which will allow the craft to reach hull speed in electric mode and perform stand-by operations silently which researchers say will be extremely valuable when collecting data onsite.

Research equipment

In addition, the HM3350 features three additional PTO heads which will drive the steering pump as well as a clutchable pump to operate the research equipment.

Head extensions for the PTO heads allow for a seamless integration with the Tier four diesel and marine gear.

Western Flyer post restoration 2023
The Western Flyer in 2023 post restoration

Transfluid has provided the propulsion control, CANBUS communication system, and all components to make the complete hybrid supply.

The operator is able to switch on the fly from diesel to electric mode by pressing a button, and also engage or disengage the hydraulics from the control bridge.

For energy storage, 115kWh of lithium iron phosphate batteries provide autonomy in electric mode and power the house systems.

The boat is able to charge while underway in diesel mode using the power of the engine, or while docked using shore power.

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