Rolls-Royce crossing system will control Fjord 1 battery ferries

Written by Nick Blenkey
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OCTOBER 18, 2016 — Rolls-Royce is to supply its first automatic crossing system to Norwegian ferry company Fjord1. It will control two new double-ended battery ferries as they cross between Anda and Lote on the 1,330 km long E39 route connecting communities along the west coast of Norway.

The automatic crossing system ensures safe and energy-efficient transit back and forth by automatically controlling the vessel’s acceleration, deceleration, speed and track. Each vessel’s two energy-efficient Rolls-Royce Azipull thrusters respond adaptively to environmental conditions to ensure optimal behavior and maximize efficiency.

Battery powered ferries have strict yearly limits on energy consumption as part of the commercial agreement between the ferry operator and the government. Automatic systems ensure consistent behavior during the journey and hence predictable energy consumption.

The captain will supervise the automatic system and intervene using traditional maneuvering systems if needed.

In this first delivery, the captain will maneuver the ferry manually the last few meters to the dock. Rolls-Royce is looking to test the next version of the system, which will allow automatic berthing, in the near future.

If the captain is not, for some reason, able to take manual control, the system stops the vessel at a safe distance from the quayside and keeps it safely positioned automatically until further action can be taken.

Jann Peter Strand, Rolls-Royce, Product Manager, Automatic & Control – Marine says, “The automatic crossing system has been developed with the company’s ship intelligence program and will help the customer meet their contractual need to ensure predictable energy consumption optimized for varying environmental conditions. It is a step on the road to realizing Rolls-Royce’s goal of remote and autonomous vessels.”

The automatic crossing system can be installed as an add-on to any standard Rolls-Royce azimuthing thruster. This means the system can be retrofitted to the existing fleet of ferries around the world.

Tersan Shipyard in Turkey is set to start construction of the ferries this month. Norwegian ship design company Multi Maritime has developed the design, in close cooperation with Fjord1.

The vessels are due for delivery in 2017 and will begin operation January 1, 2018.

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