Ferry Runs on 100% Renewables

by | Oct 29, 2012

An emission-free passenger ferry that holds 1,500 people and about 1.3 miles of parking spaces will be operating between Denmark, Germany and Sweden within the next five years.

The ferry was designed by FutureShip, a subsidiary of GL Group, for shipping company Scandlines. It will run on a combination of solar PV power, fuel cells, batteries and wind power, according to Maritime Propulsion.

Ships with shorter ferry routes can store electricity – generated by wind turbines – to fuel cells on board the ship in order to supply the electrical pod drives. Excess electricity is stored in batteries to cover peaks in demand. The fuel cells will be stored deep in the belly of the ship and out of the way, and will offer a rated power of 8,300 kW. The storage batteries offer a capacity of 2,400 kWh.

For ships that cover long distances, it is more challenging to store enough energy for the voyage.

The design of the ferry, with its double-ended sleek hull and optimized propeller shapes, also helps conserve energy. A bonus of about 10 percent extra power is provided by wind-powered Flettner rotors. The ship is designed for traveling up to 18 knots (21 miles per hour), but will average about 17 knots (20 miles per hour).

The total cost of an emission-free ferry is about 25 percent more than a conventional ferry, according to FutureShip.

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