New Fireboats With Voith Propulsion Amongst World’s Most Powerful

By George Backwell at August 09, 2013 23:29
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Voith Schneider propellers and turbo couplings will be propelling two fireboats designed by Robert Allan Ltd. for the Port of Long Beach, USA. With a water pumping capacity of more than 40,000 gallons per minute they will be among the world's most powerful fireboats.

Fireboat Design
Robert Allan Ltd. has in recent years designed a significant number of emergency response vessels for major port cities around the world. Primarily configured as fireboats, these platforms also frequently serve as Command and Control centres or as primary response vessels for local emergency actions, such as pollution response and search and rescue. They have a diverse array of configurations and fire-fighting performance.

RAnger-class 4600 Fireboat: Image courtesy of Robert Allan Ltd.

Based on the successful operation of numerous prototype fireboat designs, the Vancouver-based naval architects have created the RAnger Class of fireboats in a range of lengths and Fi-Fi capacity. These are intended generally to be used simply as the starting point for each new fireboat design, in response to each port's unique operational needs. The current series design goes upward from RAnger 2000  to the RAnger 4600.

The New Long Beach Fireboats
The vessels are currently being built by the Foss Maritime shipyard in Seattle. Delivery to the Long Beach port authority is scheduled for spring 2014 and autumn 2014 respectively. They will replace the two older fireboats Liberty and Challenger.

These new powerful fireboats will be equipped with two Voith Schneider Propellers VSP 26GII/165 AE45 (driven by two 1,350 kW diesel engines) each in the forward half of the vessel. The relatively short VSP blade length of 5.4 feet makes it possible for them to enter shallow areas of the port without compromising maneuvering safety and consequently they can also support onshore firefighting.

VSP 26GII/165 AE45 Image courtesy of Voith Schneider Propellers

For each fireboat, the Voith scope of supply includes not only two VSP but also two 866 DTL Voith turbo couplings as well as a twin control stand unit. Its positioning in the wheelhouse is such that the captain and crew benefit from a 360 degree panorama view.

The numbers are impressive: With a total of ten monitors, each of the two identical fireboats is able to throw more than 40,000 gallons of water per minute. The water jets reach a height of up to 236 feet and a distance of up to 580 feet. 

Two of the total of four fire pumps are driven by the diesel engines which supply propulsion power to the VSP. When fighting a fire, the VSP propulsion power is limited to approximately 25%; the remaining 75% is available to the fire pumps as pumping power. This allows the fireboats to be positioned fuel-efficiently using the VSP while at the same time increasing the vessels' pumping power without requiring additional engines. 




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