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Wartsila develops zero-emission ferry concept

Written by Nick Blenkey
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JANUARY 13, 2016 — Wärtsilä is launching a complete concept for a series of zero or low emission shuttle ferries. The concept has been developed in line with new Norwegian environmental regulations for ferries emphasizing the elimination of harmful emissions — a regulatory trend also evident in other countries.

Developed in a cooperation between Wärtsilä’s Ship Design and Electrical & Automation offices, the solution provides customers with an optimized design and a single point of contact, streamlining engineering, integration, and follow-up procedures throughout the project phase.

The design focuses on high energy efficiency with low resistance, above and below the water line.

The ferries are designed to run entirely on batteries or in a battery-engine hybrid configuration where the fuel options are liquefied natural gas (LNG) or biofuel.

In plug-in operation, the fuel consumption is reduced by 100 percent compared to conventional installations, and all local emissions are completely eliminated. With the plug-in hybrid configuration, emissions are reduced by up to 50 percent.

The concept features Wärtsilä’s new wireless inductive charging system, which offers major benefits for typical shuttle ferry operations involving 20,000 or more departures a year because of its time and energy savings. The system eliminates physical cable connections, thus reducing wear and tear and enabling charging to begin immediately when the vessel arrives at quay.

The design also encompasses a complete electrical and automation package based on the company’s battery/hybrid solution. It also includes Wärtsilä azimuth propulsion units and a complete bridge control system. The ferry series can accommodate 60 to 120 cars on a single car deck for quick and easy loading and unloading.

In addition to this design concept for newbuilds, Wärtsilä can also provide battery and hybrid solutions for retrofitting existing ferry propulsion units in order to meet the new regulations.

“Wärtsilä is fully committed to producing ship designs, marine products, and integrated solutions that make a significant contribution towards lowering the environmental footprint of shipping,” says Riku-Pekka Hägg, Vice President, Ship Design, Wärtsilä Marine Solutions. “This new concept is one more example of this focus. By making it possible for ferries to eliminate exhaust emissions entirely, we feel that we are again acting proactively to protect the marine environment.”

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