A complete concept for a series of innovative and cost effective shuttle ferries, featuring zero or low emissions, is being launched by Wärtsilä. The concept has been developed in line with the Norwegian government's new environmental regulations for ferries emphasising the elimination of harmful emissions. This trend is also evident in a number of other countries. The concept has been developed through cooperation between Wärtsilä's Ship Design and Electrical & Automation offices. The single solution offering provides customers with an optimised design and a single point of contact, thereby streamlining the engineering, integration, and follow-up procedures throughout the project phase. The design characteristic focuses on high energy efficiency with low resistance, both 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.
"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. 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," says Riku-Pekka Hägg, Vice President, Ship Design, Wärtsilä Marine Solutions.The concept features Wärtsilä's new wireless inductive charging system, which for typical shuttle ferry operations involving 20,000 or more departures a year, is considered a notable benefit 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.