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Thrusting ferries into the future

Our market-leading solutions are delivering tomorrow’s technology today to the ferry market.

Our market-leading solutions are delivering tomorrow’s technology today to the ferry market.

Electric propulsion - the way of the future

Technology is improving, range is increasing and the cost per kWh is steadily decreasing. This is impacting on the global ferry market as it makes battery-only and battery hybrid systems ever more attractive.

Some countries such as Norway are requiring new vessels to move away from fossil fuels and adopt low or even no emissions solutions instead. We are a leader in this field. We are a key provider of the latest and most efficient solutions for the ferry market, ensuring that tomorrow’s technology is delivered today and constantly working to drive the highest levels of operating efficiency and lowest emissions.

For routes such as fjord crossings and inland and coastal waterways, battery ferries are already a realistic and effective choice, charged from shore connections to the power grid at the terminals. On longer routes, hybrid systems are becoming more popular.

A blend of technology and experience

Our deep involvement with this new generation of ferries is a natural fit with our technical knowledge and history of hull / propulsor integration. Particularly for pure battery ferries, power requirements have to be cut to the minimum to reduce the size, cost and charging needs of the batteries.

This means cutting hull resistance and raising propulsion efficiency. Our Azipull thrusters help to ensure this happens. This propulsion system is to be used in two pure battery double-ended ferries, which will operate between Anda and Lote on the E39 main road Norway’s west coast.

The automatic choice

In another important technological advance, the vessels will feature Autocrossing and Autodocking - the first in a series of systems that will increasingly automate ferry operations.

Autocrossing is configured to cover acceleration to transit speed, transit at constant speed and deceleration on approach to the terminal. These are the phases of the journey where most energy is consumed. Docking is left to the captain and handled manually.

The Autodocking automatic docking function automates the departure from the linkspan and arrival at the terminal. Autodocking uses additional sensors to assess proximity to harbour structures such as moles at the entrance and distance to the berth.

Propulsion system will be adjusted by the system to bring the ferry safely and with minimum energy consumption to and from the docks. In the longer term ferries could become autonomous, switching to local or remote control if necessary.

A version of our proven Unified Bridge is also available with layout, controls and displays optimised for ferry operations. This technology focuses on ergonomics to increase crew alertness and reduce fatigue.

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“Autocrossing simplifies the ferry crossing operation and cuts the energy consumption per trip to the minimum. At the same time it documents both performance and energy consumption. It also helps to improve operating safety.”

- Jann Peter Strand, Product Manager, Automation & Control

Power where it matters

Another development is our SAVe CHARGE system, one of a range of energy storage solutions from the company aimed at different types of vessel and their specialised needs.

The company’s expertise has also supplied the power system for the Norwegian Coastal Administration’s first hybrid vessel, the 44-metre OV Bøkfjord, used primarily for the building, operation and maintenance of lighthouses and other seamarks.

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The Bøkfjord is equipped with an 850 kWh battery pack in addition to a traditional propulsion system comprising three diesel-powered electrical generators.

“We have a strong belief in the future of batteries and electricity. Our experience in all aspects of ship design and construction means we can help customers identify the optimum combination of technologies to use in order to reduce emissions and achieve improved performance and fuel economy.”
John Roger Nesje, Vice President, Power Electric Systems