Brodosplit shipyard, part of the DIV Group, has started to produce sections for a zero-emission passenger ship with electric generator propulsion.
Known as the ‘Electric sailing ship’ project, the 500 gt three-masted schooner will be 63.5 m long and 10 m wide, with a height of 5.35 m to the main deck.
The hull and superstructure will be built of steel and the masts of aluminum alloy.
When not under sail, she will be powered by two 150 kW electric motors, each fed by batteries continuously charged from different sources.
Upon reaching a speed of 6 knots, she will require only 60 kW of power. The vessel will be fitted with 30 tonnes of batteries with a maximum capacity of 2,300 kWh, but due to legal requirements, shewill also have two diesel generators that will used only when needed or in emergencies.
The idea for a zero-emission ship was born several years ago and with the growth and development of the DIV Group in the field of new technology, the project has matured and can now be implemented.
Work on the project started in February, 2020 and was co-financed by the EU funds under the ‘Increasing the development of new products and services arising from research and development activities – phase II’ allowance.
Originally, the project aimed to research, develop and build a sailing vessel for an optimal 24 passengers, for which alternative propulsion technologies and energy sources are developed based on an environmentally friendly design that aims to achieve sustainable mobility with zero emissions.
DIV is the project leader and collaboration was established with scientific institutions to improve interaction and knowledge and technology transfer between industry and universities and public research institutes, benefiting both companies and public sector researchers, the shipyard said.
The Osijek Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Computer Science and Information Technology is responsible for the development of kinetic wind energy storage systems through hydro-kinetic energy conversion (water turbines and reversible propellers) and battery management systems/integrated marine energy systems (energy storage, monitoring, and control, management), while the Split Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture is working on sailing systems, sail automation (robotics), wind turbines and photovoltaic systems.
There will be two vertical wind turbines fitted at the bow and stern to supply the ship with electricity when it is in port and the sails are lowered. A photovoltaic solar system will be installed on the top of the superstructure. Therefore, the ship will be supplied with electricity and water from completely renewable sources and will obtain all its energy without any CO2 emissions.
So not only is the ship 100% ‘green’, but she also has virtually no costs for fuel and propulsion machinery, Brodosplit claimed.
What distinguishes this electric sailing ship from similar vessels is that she will also charge her batteries while sailing. In addition to the wind turbines, water turbines and solar panels, a system of variable pitch propellers and a special blade geometry will be used, which will serve as a water turbine when sailing.
This reversible propeller will charge high-powered batteries located in the lower deck. In addition, all information on board will be collected and controlled from the bridge.
This includes meteorological data so that the Master knows where the wind is most favourable, all ship and propulsion systems, power supply to the batteries, engine operations, solar panels, wind turbines, hot water, energy consumption, etc. At the same time, all energy ‘returns’ and ‘expenditure’ on board will be monitored.
During the domestic tourist season, she will sail in the Adriatic along the coasts of Croatia, Italy, Slovenia, Montenegro, Albania and Greece, while out of season in the Caribbean and other tourist destinations.