Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Sea Crossing on All Electric Power with New Design Freight and Passenger RoPax Ferry

Innovative Design and New Technologies Render a Feasible Alternative
Shipping News Feature

DENMARK – FAROE ISLES – The marine engineering group Knud E Hansen A/S specialises in innovative design, attempting to combine cutting edge technologies into a vessel which will be practical in use in what can be a most testing environment. The company’s latest project, although not the largest, will introduce a freight and passenger ferry capable of making an entire voyage entirely on electric power. The new ferry will replace the 40 metre RoPax ferry which is currently servicing the islands of Nolsoy and Tórshavn in the Faroe Islands.

This project is the second design within the last 15 years for the domestic ferry company Strandfaraskip Landsins and the third generation design by Knud Hansen for the same route. The first ferry design from the Helsingør headquartered company was built in 1949 and was named Ritan to be followed by a similarly named ship in 1971.

The new ferry design includes a double hull for safety and can withstand water on deck with a significant wave height of 3 metres. With a length of 35 metres and a beam of 11 metres, the ferry has a displacement of approx. 675 tonnes and can carry up to 170 passengers and 10-12 cars or alternatively 2 trucks and 5-6 cars, and incorporates a hybrid diesel electric/battery power pack with thrusters or Voigt Schneider propulsion.

The vessel design has been developed with low energy consumption in mind and fitted with batteries and a heat recovery system, principally to enable the vessel to do a round trip between Nólsoy and Tórshavn on battery power alone. A tender to construct the vessel is expected to be released in May 2015.

Certainly the new design will not challenge the fastest, yet unconventionally powered RoPax and RoRo ferries for speed, the 100+ kilometre/hour LNG powered craft of the Argentinian – Uruguayan company Buquebus and the methanol driven Stena Germanica spring to mind, however electrically powered craft will doubtless have their niche in the cleaner, short sea crossings of the future.

Photo: Artists impression of the new ferry.