BMT Nigel Gee to design all-electric ferry for China

BMT-Nigel-Gee-Electric-FerrySouthampton, U.K., based BMT Nigel Gee Ltd. has won an order to design a 25 m, all-electric, 150 passenger ferry in China.

A new green ship design is being developed to demonstrate the practical use of a battery powered ferry in estuarial and coastal waters where marine transportation is a viable alternative to land-based transport.  BMT has been tasked with providing the design based on its innovative design capability and its proven low resistance hull form technology which is currently in use in many low wash catamaran ferries.


In addition to the fundamental naval architecture design, BMT will develop the layout and styling of the vessel to provide an elegant, yet simple design that reflects the vessel's modern green credentials and practical functionality as a passenger ferry.  The design uses a proven catamaran hull form with VRB (vanadium redox batteries) batteries providing the power to the electric drive motors, which will achieve a 10 knot service speed.  Solar cells incorporated into the roof structure will top up the batteries whilst the vessel is in use.

Construction of the vessel will start by the middle of 2011 with trials and delivery by mid-2012.

Commenting on the technical aspects of the order Ed Dudson, Technical Director at BMT Nigel Gee, says: "This design has been an interesting challenge as we needed to balance the weight of the batteries against the vessel performance in order to ensure that a practical ferry service can be provided.  Winning this contract further strengthens our commitment to developing innovative solutions for customers around the world, helping them to overcome their unique design challenges."

August 8, 2011

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