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A power generation system from Gen-Tech incorporating the Overhung Load Adaptor (OHLA) from Zero-Max is being used to help commercial fishing boats operating in the frigid Bearing Sea to save fuel.

The patented Gen-Tech system eliminates running a separate auxiliary engine for generator operation when the main engine is in travel mode.

When equipped with the OHLA from Zero-Max, the two hydraulic pumps connected to the primary engine work effortlessly, providing generator power so auxiliary engine operation is unnecessary.

A fuel cost saving of USD2,300 (GBP1,415) or more in an eight-day fishing excursion is typical using this system, according to Gen-Tech.

Erling Skaar, president of Gen-Tech, said: ‘The auxiliary engine is not fuel efficient when in travel mode.

‘Our system maximises the operating efficiency of the primary engine with the help of the Overhung Load Adaptor, so running a secondary engine is unnecessary.

‘The additional load on the main engine from operating the Gen-Tech system is negligible and therefore highly efficient and fuel saving.

‘There is no added wear to the engine or connecting components.

‘Thanks to the OHLA’s rugged design, we’re assured of smooth and reliable pump and generator operation.

‘That’s extremely important in the adverse and hostile environments that these fishing vessels are subjected to,’ he added.

The Gen-Tech system was first used in a fishing vessel called the North American.

The system is installed aboard the vessel to cope with stormy conditions.

Its fuel-saving and pollutant reduction features are intended to make for a more environmentally friendly fishing operation.

The Gen-Tech system incorporates a patented controller and software.

The controller ‘learns’ the power requirement for the input to the hydraulic pumps from the ship’s main engine.

Using that information, the controller then adjusts the displacement of the hydraulic pump to maintain stable frequency and voltage through the entire revolutions-per-minute range of the main engine.

In the Gen-Tech system, the OHLA from Zero-Max provides a solid, permanent mounting surface.

It transmits rotary motion from the main engine to the hydraulic pumps.

Using the OHLA in the system eliminates the need for a secondary, more costly gearbox to operate the hydraulic pumps.

In addition, the OHLA adds more stability in the drive train than a gearbox.

It enhances motor operation by eliminating premature motor or pump failure owing to overhung loads (axial or radial) on the pump and motor shaft.

In high seas, violent shifting motion multiplies powertrain stress so the OHLA’s stability role is even more important than in calm operating conditions.

It allows the Gen-Tech system to operate in wildly fluctuating conditions.

The OHLA is belt driven off the main engine via a 2.8:1 speed ratio using a Gates polychain drive.

With an SAE-D face mount, the OHLA has a 13-tooth 8/16 spline input, a 2-1/4in output shaft and a 7in pitch diameter on the OHLA’s pulley.

For added durability, spherical bearings were selected for the North American application.

The OHLA housing, which weighs 195lb (88kg), is made of 25,000psi tensile cast iron with shafts of 130,000psi stress-proof steel.

The OHLA operates at 1,540 idling revolutions per minute, 2,500 cruising revolutions per minute and 3,360 maximum revolutions per minute.

Connected to the two variable displacement hydraulic pumps mounted piggybacked, the pumps produce 3,000psi of pressure and deliver 120 gallons per minute.

Skaar continued: ‘With Gen-Tech, the North American cruises at 10 knots using only 21 gallons of fuel an hour.

‘Without Gen-Tech, the North American cruises at 10 knots using 25-26 gallons of fuel an hour.

‘While the dollar savings for an actual eight-day fishing excursion are huge at USD2,300, also huge is the reduced carbon emissions and pollutants that help to preserve our fishing environment,’ he said.

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