The National Fluid Power Association (NFPA) is pleased to recognize design engineers Erling Skaar and Odd Arild Olsen as the recipients of the first-ever NFPA Innovation Award, given to individuals for using fluid power technology in innovative ways. Skaar and Olsen received the award for their unique design of an energy efficient controller that also reduces the carbon footprint of marine vessels. This add-on hydraulic technology reduces emissions dramatically by offering a power-generation system that eliminates the need for a second diesel engine-reducing fuel consumption and scheduled maintenance.
Recipient Skaar explains, "The key component is a controller that monitors electricity loads throughout the ship and communicates the information to the hydraulic pump." The hydraulic pump is driven by the vessel's main engine which maintains a constant hydraulic flow to the hydraulic motor independent of engine speed.
Multiple applications for the award were reviewed by an NFPA Innovation Award committee comprised of marketing professionals from several NFPA member companies. In its review of the Gen-Tech application, the committee acknowledged that the anticipated cost-savings from using a hydrostatic drive to control and power a generator vs. a second engine will make this application very attractive to many cost-conscious and eco-friendly marine vessels.
The NFPA Innovation Award recognizes individual design engineers in industries that use fluid power technology who compete to receive a monetary reward for their efforts in designing innovative fluid power applications. The goal of the program is to increase the visibility of fluid power in key industries.