Hopper barge ‘Nicole’ is a self propelled river hopper dredger
Hopper barge ‘Nicole’ is a self propelled river hopper dredger (81.30 x 10.30 meter - 2,000 ton), used for hydraulic engineering and sand trading by the Belgian based company Brandt NV.
M.S. ‘Nicole’ is diesel-electric driven and has been completely designed and built by Teus Vlot Diesel Marine BV. This new drive concept has been designed entirely within the Teus Vlot Dredging Group. The concept optimizes the use and distribution of the generated power. This results in following advantages: - considerable fuel savings; - ditto CO2 reduction; - reduced maintenance costs; - improved ‘Return-on-Investment’.
All in all the deployment of the hopper dredger is increased in a sustainable way.
Three Caterpillar generator sets supply the required electric power.
The propulsion is electric: two electric motors of 630kW each (845 HP) drive one propshaft through a tandem gearbox. Two water cooled frequency inverters control the propulsion motors. This creates very dynamic propulsion. It is possible to accelerate the propeller to maximum speed in 5 seconds and in 2 seconds back to stop again. This creates unique sailing properties.
In addition the other on board equipment is also electrically driven. For example, the bow thruster is driven by a 460kW (616HP) and the three GIW dredge pumps each by a 355kW (476 HP) electric motor.