The E-ferry‘Ellen’, claimed to be the world’s most powerful fully-electric ferry, is due to begin passenger operations next month, covering the 22-nautical mile crossing between the Danish islands of Ærø and Fynshav.
The vessel will travel seven times further than any other electric powered ferry currently in operation anywhere in the world, Danfoss Editron claimed.
She is just under 60m long, has a beam of around 13m and will sail at speeds of between 13-15.5 knots and will be capable of carrying 198 pax during the summer months and147 during the winter. The ferry will also carry 31 cars or five trucks on her open deck.
As well as having a power capacity of 4.3MW/h, the largest battery pack currently installed for maritime use, she is also the first electric ferry to have no emergency back-up generator on board.
Danfoss Editron supplied the fullelectric drivetrain powering the ferry to operator Ærø Kommune. The company’s Editron system comprises two 750kW propulsion motors and two 250kW thruster motors, both of which run off synchronous reluctance assisted permanent magnet technology and are controlled by DC/AC inverters.
As well as the electric drivetrain, Danfoss Editron also provided the vessel’s power management system for the complete on board automated power and load control. In addition, the company delivered the onshore charging station and charging arm for the ferry’s 4.3MW battery.
Kim Fausing, Danfoss CEO, commented:”’Ellen’ is an excellent example of the future for electric transport: cleaner, greener and more efficient. It is a great project which demonstrates the potential for electric ferries to end users and the industry itself. It is an EU project and will be an example for electric transport for many years to come.
“Electrification is key for Danfoss’ success in the future. We will electrify complex machinery, achieving not only reductions in CO2 and other emissions but also improving the productivity and efficiency of such machines. Danfoss is already recognised as a technology leader and we are investing heavily in the business to ensure we stay in the forefront of electrification,” he said.
Kimmo Rauma, Vice PresidentDanfoss Editron, added:”It is well known that the global marine industry is a major contributor of greenhouse gas emissions. Maritime transport currently emits over 900 mill tonnes of CO2 annually and is responsible for about 2.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions. We want to help change the world by easing pollution and we believe that industries such as the marine sector can lead the way.
“With a powerful Danfoss Editron system running it, the ‘Ellen’ E-ferry will strengthen our already strong position as a world leader in the development and delivery of world-class electric ferries. It is anticipated that the ferry will save 2,000 tonnes of CO2 every year once operational,” he said.
As for its suitability for larger passenger vessels, Danfoss Editron’s Marine Operations Manager, Siebe de Vries, told ICSI; “Our Editron system is modular and scalable. The system on board the E-ferry and basically on all of our systems are based on a DC-bus concept, with power sources on the production side and power consumptions on the consumption side.
“Power sources can be batteries, dieselgenerators, LNG-generators or hydrogen systems, whereas power consumption can be propulsion, thrusters or other users on the grid of a vessel.
“This modular set-up means that an optimised system lay-out can be offered, while it is also possible to add or change power production at a later stage, say for example when batteries become less expensive or higher in capacity.
“The EDITRON system on board the E-ferry consists of 20 battery strings, divided into two battery rooms. The system can be easily reduced by using less battery strings, or increased by using more. The limiting factor is mainly the size and weight of the batteries, though the capacity of batteries is increasing year by year which means solutions with more capacity will be soon be available.
“Major projects such as the E-ferry provide us with more knowledge and expertise, increasing the amount of commercial solutions we can deliver,” he explained.
Engine room fire prevention addressed
The desire to work towards a zero-fire engine room led cruise operator RCCL, Wärtsilä, and class society DNV GL to initiate a joint industry project to improve fire prevention.
Since 2016, the partners have worked with stakeholders across the whole industry to collect data, analyse the key risks, and develop safety barriers to manage the most significant risk factors.
As a result, RCL launched a programme to enhance engine room fire prevention across its entire fleet and Wärtsilä offered technical solutions and procedures for the maintenance of the engines to lower fire risk. For its part, DNV GL introduced a new class notation F(M-P), which focuses not only on the systems, but also the processes and people to enhance the main safety barriers to prevent machinery space fires.
“Our target is zero engine room fires and with these enhanced standards, we believe this goal is within reach,” said Anders Aasen, RCL’s Vice President of Global Technical Solutions..
“Any fire, even one that is detected and extinguished immediately, can impact not only the ship, but the operator and the whole industry. This is why we are so pleased that the cruise ship safety forum, alongside many other stakeholders, could come together around a set of best practices that strengthen safety barriers and were published in January this year. For RCL, this project has had the added benefit that we have enhanced our data analytics capabilities, which gives us an ongoing scope for further improvement,” he said.
“This particular case has proven the power of co-operation between the customer and the supplier in order to take the next steps in safety,” said Jyrki Salo, Senior Product Manager (SOLAS) at Wärtsilä. “The creation of the 150 deg C design has its roots in the safety charrette held three years ago, where we worked on ideas for increasing safety in the cruise industry.
“Developing a successful SOLAS compliant product is a result of numerous design improvements. Wärtsilä’s long history of retrofit SOLAS compliant designs has resulted in a solution which allows going below 150 deg C. We have also used the lessons we have learned from earlier designs and adapted the new designs accordingly,” he said.
The new DNV GL class notation F(M-P), which will be implemented in RCL’s new cruise vessel ‘Navigator of the Seas’, identifies key areas for preventing fires in engine rooms based on incident analysis, feedback from surveyors, and best practices from the industry.
It sets in place standards and processes focusing on the prevention, detection and containment of oil leakage, the shutdown of system, as well as the prevention of ignition.
“The new notation brings together many aspects of barrier management to improve safety,” said Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen, DNV GL – Maritime CEO. “It covers not just the technical systems, but the processes used and the people involved, utilising best practices to provide a holistic approach to preventing these incidents. This notation shows the importance of learning from casualty data, and how by combining this with the insights from class and the industry we can work together to move safety forward.”
As casualty statistics indicate that many engine room fires occur when flammable liquid reaches a hot surface, the notation introduces process checks and technical measures to prevent this from occurring.
There is overarching emphasis on both internal and external processes and procedures, with auditing of procedures to enable more efficient oversight. Likely areas for leakage are identified, and containment strategies for such areas offered. Control and monitoring of vibration in essential systems is an added requirement, with ongoing data collection included to show trends over time.
In addition, insulation of potentially hot surfaces is also a key issue to prevent ignition, so maintenance activities in this area are emphasised. In addition, the requirement for continuous improvement through data analytics means that owners and operators can gain ongoing benefits from the processes and systems they put in place to prevent fires.
Coral Expeditions orders second small cruise ship
VARD has won a contract to build a second expedition cruise ship for Coral Expeditions. To be named ‘Coral Geographer’, she will follow the recently delivered ‘Coral Adventurer’built at Vard Vung Tau in Vietnam.
Delivered in April, the 93.4 m ship, a VARD 6 01 design, has commenced operations in the Asia/Pacific region.
‘Coral Adventurer’and ‘Coral Geographer’were designed to meet growing demand for the operator’s expedition product in the Australian cruise market. Each 120 pax willfeature expedition tender capabilities and accommodation across four decks.
‘Coral Geographer’will be delivered in 4Q20, and is already well advanced in production at Vard Vung Tau. Following market feedback, she will feature an increased proportion of Bridge Deck Balcony suites – up from two to six suites, each featuring a spacious horizon bath.
VARD CEO and Executive Director, Roy Reite, said;“This is an attractive, high quality and effective expedition cruise vessel for a greatly respected regional shipowner and operator. Coral Expeditions is leading a strong Australian market by virtue of its commitment to delivering outstanding service and routes in first class vessels.
“Vard Vung Tau has, from the outset, worked to mirror those standards with a project that has seen the team, in association with the owner and our global network, complete every aspect of the build.
“As with the entire portfolio of offshore and specialised passenger vessels the yard has constructed over recent years, this ship was delivered on time, with complete customer satisfaction. That is demonstrated by the commitment from Coral Expeditions to build a new vessel here with the team,” he said.
Vard Vung Tau constructed the ‘Coral Adventurer’hull, while also carrying out all outfitting, installation, testing and finalising. Vard Accommodation delivered the interior.
The ship boasts two 65 pax capacity ‘Xplorer’ aluminium tender boats and six heavy duty inflatable boats for special discovery trips. The ship was designed by Vard Design in Norway with a high focus on environmentally friendly solutions. Alongside its passenger accommodation, she offers cabins for up to 42 crew members.
Paul Chacko, Executive Director, Coral Expeditions, added: “’Coral Adventurer’replicated the proven layout, look and feel, and expedition tender capabilities of our other three ships but added new amenities, such as a passenger elevator, gym and an open galley to enhance the guest experience. The ship features Australian-designed interiors with natural stone and timber.
‘Coral Geographer’will continue that style and further build out our bluewater fleet. Our company has been operating expedition cruises for 34 years and we were clear about what we wanted. It was important to choose a shipyard that understood our high ambitions and had the capability, expertise and infrastructure to help us realise them,” he said.
Ulstein introduces ropax X-BOW
Ulstein has developed a range of X-BOW ropax vessel designs.
The portfolio is based on the ‘compact concept’ of shorter, wider and slower design solutions, leading to high capacity vessels and less expensive newbuildings.
This conceptincreases the competitiveness of ropax vessel designs by higher revenue earning at lower financial and operational costs, Ulstein claimed.
Many ropaxes operate in harsh areas, for which the X-BOW was originally designed. An X-BOW fitted vessel at the same speed and weather conditions will use less power than a conventional bow vessel. It is a proven solution used in a number of different market segments, and leads to improved sea-keeping, and reduced speed loss and fuel consumption, hence a reduced environmental footprint.
Ropaxes sea-keeping behaviour is important to the integrity of the cargo and the comfort of the passengers. In many cases, the movements of a vessel call for a slowdown, which mayaffect avessel’s schedule. However, the X-BOW ropax will not need to slow down even in fairly rough weather, the shipbuilder and designer said.
This has been proven in the offshore sector, where more than 90 vessels of this design are already in service.
The vessel’s propulsion system can be designed according to the vessel’s operational profile and set schedule. A smaller propulsion plant will contribute to lower capital investments (CAPEX), less maintenance (OPEX) and reduced energy consumption (VOYEX), making the operation of the vessel more efficient.
Further, and equally important, power energy consumption improves the greener profile of the vessel and its operations.
For example, the ULSTEIN ZED solutioncan also be used on ropaxes to achieve zero emissions for longer periods when at a port or in environmentally sensitive waters
“Ropax is a segment in growth, where we will see fleet renewals in the years to come. We have for some time worked to integrate Ulstein’s design mindset into a range of Ropax vessels. These vessels are all equipped with the X-BOW hull feature, a natural choice when operating in climatically rough conditions,” said COO Design & Solutions, Tore Ulstein. “Our Ropax vessel designs are optimised according to market needs and will be constructed in series for the volume market.“
One potential country for building this type of ship is China.
“We have had offices and site teams in Shanghai and Ningbo for many years, and our people have long experience in system integration and site follow-up,” claimed Ulstein: “More than half of the more than 100 Ulstein designs, which have been built outside Norway, have been constructed in China with Ulstein site teams present. We have good relations to our Chinese partner yards and are currently in dialogue with several yards on the construction of these Ropax vessels.”
ZEEDS introduced- bunkering at sea.
Spurred on by a common objective rooted in the UN’s Sustainability Goals to fast-forward the switch to carbon-neutral shipping, six Nordic companies have introduced ZEEDS (Zero Emission Energy Distribution at Sea) concept.
A vision for a green fuel bunkering infrastructure in Northern Europe, it was presented in detail at the Horizons conference and workshops event in Oslo and again at the Nor-Shipping Ocean Leadership meeting.
Wärtsilä is leading the effort joined by Aker Solutions; Equinor;Kvaerner; and on the shipping side by DFDS and Grieg Star.
The concept envisages an ‘ecosystem’ of offshore clean energy hubs strategically located close to Northern Europe’s busiest shipping lanes capable of producing, storing and distributing renewable fuels to passing vessels.
“Fuel stations placed in a highly trafficked area, such as outside Bornholm or in Skagerak would become the infrastructure,” explained Kvaerner’s, Kenneth Simonsen, senior vice-president strategy and M&A. It could also be scaled up to serve global trade lanes supplying the world fleet. The vision was to look beyond just ships,” said Wartsila’s Andrea Morgante, vice president, Strategy and Business Development. “We realised there was a lot of value to be captured in the logistics chain.”
The hubs are designed as gravity-based structures in shallow waters and potentially semi-submersible floaters in deeper water, with the bunkering buoys either cemented to the seabed or floating in deep water. Clean energy for topside fuel production would be supplied by around 75 large wind turbines per hub. Solar and wave technologies are also potentially available.
ZEEDS’ focus is on green ammonia as a feasible zero-emission fuel, given that it can be used on existing LNG-powered vessels without major modifications. But Margaret Mistry, Strategy & Innovation Manager at Equinor, emphasised the concept is “fuel agnostic”. Multiple fuels including hydrogen could also be used. Storage for ammonia is either internal or in seabed tanks using water pressure to keep the fuel liquid.
Data calculations show each hub could potentially produce sufficient ammonia to supply 65 vessels per day. Hydrogen production and storage could be accommodated on an under-deck of the installations.
Distribution features ship-to-ship (STS) bunkering at sea that eliminates the need for clean-powered vessels to make frequent shore deviations to refuel, so minimising operational downtime, as well as port congestion.
Bunkering is performed by autonomous units dubbed energy providing vessels (EPVs), powered by offtake from their own cargo and with a range of 50 nautical miles from the mother hubs. A full STS transfer is designed take two hours with both vessels sailing at six knots in a process already proven even in high seas.
Drones will airlift a pilot cable from the EPV to enable the bunkering hose to be reeled in and fitted on the receiving unit. Each transfer is estimated to provide enough fuel for five days’ operation for a ship in a typical North Sea trade, said Wärtsilä’s Egil Hystad, general manager of concept development.
For DFDS, the core benefit is fielding ideas around big uncertainties, said Sif Lundsberg, project manager, Innovation and Technology. “I don’t see black shipping in 2050. We need to change,” she said.