Lifeboat engines require regular testing in line with highly stringent safety protocols. Up until now, the boats had to be launched into the water to properly test and load the engine, exposing them to a wide array of risks – especially in the severe weather conditions often experienced offshore. PALFINGER MARINE has developed a dynamometer that facilitates lifeboat engine testing – without the boat ever touching the water – a critical step towards launch-free, manned operations. We met up with Donavan Olivier, Sales & Operations Manager at PALFINGER MARINE, in Louisiana to discuss this exclusive, in-house product development.

Strong track record of innovation

PALFINGER MARINE has a strong record of anticipating trends and subsequently developing innovative marine technology solutions that increase both safety and efficiency. Recent examples include our fully electric jib crane for future remote operation, our new offshore passenger transfer system (OPTS) introduced at Nor-Shipping 2023, and our redesigned fixed boom crane range. Following this rich vein of industry-defining innovations, our team in Louisiana set out to add yet another revolutionary product and, in 2020, started developing a revolutionary dynamometer test stand for lifeboat engines that no longer requires an actual launch of the vessel into the water. The result: PALFINGER Go Power D100LE, nicknamed “Dyno” for short.

PALFINGER lifeboat engine test stand - a blue object made of aluminum with four legs and a display on top.

The new PALFINGER Go Power D100LE – “Dyno” for short

The Dyno: a lifeboat engine test stand born in the USA

“The Dyno is a unique, exclusive product development by PALFINGER MARINE. There are no other comparable products with this level of research and development on the market,” Donavan proudly explains. The Dyno utilizes a water break to allow the regular safety testing of a wide variety of lifeboat engines in simulated real world setting.

Given that the lifeboat no longer needs to be launched into the water for the testing process, it is not exposed to the risks posed by weather or sea conditions.

Donavan Olivier, Sales & Operations Manager at PALFINGER MARINE

“Typically, dry testing a lifeboat is risky business. In an internal combustion engine, the piston rings expand with combustion chamber pressure. Prolonged operation under no load reduces that pressure, meaning the piston rings expand less against the cylinder wall than they would under loaded conditions. This could, in turn, allow more oil to leak past the rings, skew engine harmonics, and significantly reduce output, which is not ideal in the event of a lifeboat emergency. The Dyno, however, simulates the lifeboat actually being in the water, completely eliminating those potentials from the equation,” Donavan says.

With its high-strength aluminum structure, the Dyno offers exceptional durability and efficiency. Greased bearings ensure seamless lubrication for increased longevity and reduced maintenance requirements. The new stand allows testers to proactively discover potential – possibly hidden – defects within lifeboat engines in an environment that is safe for both crew and equipment. After all, these emergency vessels need to perform at their highest level if ever called upon. “The Dyno can be utilized in many fields, but our main focus certainly lies on the offshore segment. Drilling rigs, for example, are predominantly located in deep, rough seas, which makes testing lifeboat engines in challenging weather conditions very risky,” Donavan reiterates. Watch Donavan as he installs and activates the new PALFINGER Go Power D100LE in the video below:

Focus on North American growth

While the Dyno was initially developed for the US market, PALFINGER MARINE intends to market its latest innovation worldwide. “In fact, we received a remarkable number of pre-orders before the Dyno was even completely developed. The idea was clearly strong enough to convince our customers in advance,” Donavan revealed.

A number of PALFINGER lifeboat engine test stands in a consecutive row

PALFINGER MARINE recorded a remarkable number of pre-orders of the Dyno.

PALFINGER has recently increased its focus on growth in North America – and this latest innovation will only enhance our reputation in the market. Given our status as a decade-long leading player in the region, we are eager to contribute to the modernization of infrastructure with future-oriented solutions – both on land and at sea. While PALFINGER MARINE continues to serve the North American marine and offshore market via its branch in New Iberia, Louisiana, PALFINGER opened its new North American headquarters in Schaumburg, Illinois, in June this year. Growth is coming – and we’re ready!

PALFINGER MARINE is proud that its presence in North America is not merely a sales-based endeavor but has developed into an innovation hub in its own right over the years. The Dyno is just the beginning. We are incredibly excited to see what our colleagues in the US come up with next.

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