R. STAHL TRANBERG plays crucial role in world’s first autonomous container vessel

Source: press release, 8 December 2020

TRANBERG® BlueLine Navigation lights are maintenance-free with a simplified plug and play, modular design for ease of installation
TRANBERG® BlueLine Navigation lights are maintenance-free with a simplified plug and play, modular design for ease of installation (photo: R. STAHL TRANBERG)

R. STAHL TRANBERG, a world class provider of smart marine applications, electrical explosion protection and systems safety to the oil and gas, marine and industrial sectors and part of the R. STAHL GROUP, has played a key role in providing marine lighting solutions to Yara Birkeland, the world’s first autonomous and zero-emissions container vessel. The ship has been handed over to Norwegian chemical company Yara and is shortly to undergo testing for container loading and stability, prior to commercial operations.

Thomas Linkenheil, Managing Director of R. STAHL TRANBERG, comments, “This project is a great example of how R. STAHL TRANBERG’s mission and strengths creates significant benefits for its customers: supporting energy efficiencies and reducing carbon emissions in the maritime sector, becoming an integral part of the maritime digital ecosystem of the future, and providing maintenance-free operations. We have always been a pioneer in our industry and our work on Yara Birkeland is another landmark in our history.”

In supporting international technology group KONGSBERG, who was responsible for the development and delivery of all key enabling technologies on Yara Birkeland, R. STAHL TRANBERG has deployed its industry leading navigation lighting solution, part of the TRANBERG® BlueLine Lighting series of next generation maritime lighting, along with its searchlight.

The innovative lighting – entirely made by R. STAHL TRANBERG to ensure the highest level of quality and control – directly addresses Yara Birkeland’s demanding requirements in a number of key areas:

  • No Maintenance Requirements & The Highest Environmental Standards. Essential to unmanned vessels, such as Yara Birkeland, the TRANBERG® BlueLine Navigation lights are maintenance-free with a simplified plug and play, modular design for ease of installation. While the TRANBERG® Searchlight has moveable parts, no components have specific maintenance requirements. The lights are also made of the highest quality, sustainable materials including seawater resistant aluminium and glass lenses for the navigation lights, as well as new streamlined lighting designs that have smaller environmental footprints. The navigation lights are 100% LED.
  • A Full Digital Ecosystem with Remote Control Monitoring Capabilities. The TRANBERG® BlueLine Navigation lights come with the latest digitalisation capabilities, enabling compatibility and intelligent connectivity with existing and future control systems. This is the case on Yara Birkeland. In Phase 1, the vessel will still be manned with a computer link to a command centre in Oslo. Phase 2 will see remote control capabilities with Massterly, a joint venture set up to establish the infrastructure necessary to design and operate autonomous vessels. Finally, Phase 3 marks fully autonomous operations with the removal of the bridge. The TRANBERG® BlueLine Navigation lights are controlled and monitored by a control system, enabling a two-way communication with onshore systems that also includes the raising of alarms and subsequent alarm handling.
  • Enhanced Situational Awareness. With the ship unmanned, the TRANBERG® BlueLine Navigation lights and accompanying searchlight will provide onshore controllers with the best possible understanding of the situation onboard and the surrounding vicinity. The searchlight is controlled horizontally and vertically with the ability to turn on and off the lights and adjust the beam, establishing a 360-degree illumination of the surrounding area with monitoring and activation from the onshore control room. Up to 10 pre-defined searchlight positions can be easily configured from the onshore control room for rapid positioning.
  • High Resilience and Availability. The TRANBERG® BlueLine Navigation lights along with the TRANBERG® Searchlight provide resilience in every part of the system, ensuring the highest availability. The navigation lights have a wide span of operational voltage meaning the light intensity is not affected by varying voltage, as well as providing a seamless change-over from main to spare navigation lights. Both systems also have redundant power supplies with automatic change-over in case of any fault.

Kjell Are Berg-Hagen, R.STAHL TRANBERG Technology Director, continues, “R. STAHL TRANBERG’s key concept for focusing on our customers’ needs is based on CARES – Capex/opex optimisation, Availability, Remote control, Energy/environment, and Safety. This guided us during our work on Yara Birkeland, where we were able to deliver according to regulations from maritime authorities and class societies with fault tolerant and resilient systems. The result from our lighting solutions is the highest standards of situational awareness, resilience and digital integration for maximum operational safety and environmental standards.”

“The Yara Birkeland is likely to be just the start of the growing development of unmanned and hybrid vessels where more operations are controlled and monitored by onshore teams. R. STAHL TRANBERG will remain at the forefront of these developments, setting the standards for the marine lighting of the future on autonomous vessels,” concludes Berg-Hagen.