Ockerman Automation Consulting, Inc. Delivers Hybrid Solution to the U.S.Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)

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Posted September 9, 2020

The USACE recognized that a hybrid solution could provide benefits to its fleet when replacing vessels with certain operating profiles and requirements. The benefits of this new direction are improved vessel efficiency and reduced engine emissions while still enabling the multi-mission capabilities necessary for USACE mission execution.

In 2017, the program was initiated to provide a low-emission solution and provide a mobile energy storage solution for the USACE mission in New York and New Jersey Harbor.The vessel will operate from the USACE New York District Marine Base at Jersey City, NJ.

The vessel is powered with a 3.4MWh Energy Storage System (ESS) providing six hours endurance to a combined all-electric 3000 hp main propulsion utilizing permanent magnet motors and 2x150 hp bow thrusters. The vessel is supplemented by four Cummins diesel generator sets driving permanent magnet generators yielding a 50% reduction in emissions during operation. The systems have been designed and will be built to meet all American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) and United States Coast Guard (USCG) regulatory requirements.

The naval architecture was provided by the Bristol Harbor Group, Inc. with the vessel having the following principal characteristics:

  • Length Overall 148 feet
  • Beam Overall 39 feet
  • Molded Depth at Midship 15 feet 6 inches
  • Design Draft 8 feet 6 inches

As part of the design efforts the USACE operational scenarios were evaluated with advanced simulation tools at the Ockerman Automation Consulting, Inc. (OAC) Marine Electric Propulsion Simulation (MEPS) laboratory located in Newport News, Virginia.

This advanced research and development effort provided key data to the USACE to validate their program requirements.The MEPS laboratory facility also permitted OAC to validate their proposed hybrid propulsion system solution to ensure proper performance and safety requirements would be achieved.

According to Mr. John Ockerman, OAC’s CEO “The MEPS laboratory and these programs are instrumental toward advancing reliable and safe high-performance energy storage solutions for hybrid and electric propulsion technologies for naval and commercial applications.” In addition, the MEPS laboratory contributed to program efficiencies by hosting program design reviews utilizing their Augmented/Virtual Reality(AR/VR) department to address human factors associated with bridge layout, control room layout helm design and machinery arrangement within the virtual vessel, and will also be providing conditioned based monitoring services from the laboratory after launch of the vessel by the shipyard.

The shipyard phase is currently out for tender by the USACE Marine Design Center under solicitation number W912BU20B0014, with a link provided below.


OAC has offices in Anacortes, Washington, and Newport News, Virginia, and has over 20 years of proven success with a full in-house design capability for naval architecture and marine engineering with an emphasis on advanced electrical engineering design. OAC is currently providing design services for a multitude of new construction and refit programs for the U.S. Navy, USACE and a broad spectrum of commercial customers.

For more information, please contact Keith Wyatt, OAC’s Vice President for Business Development at (713) 502-4401 or keith@ock-inc.com.