Research partnership aims to enable zero-emission ships

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A new R&D project involving Rolls-Royce, Color Line, Norled and the Norwegian Coastal Administration has received a US$705,000 grant from the Research Council of Norway’s ENERGIX programme. The Zero Emission Ferry project, which represents three different maritime operating environments, aims to develop a new electrical system that provides more efficient power output and stable operations, is cheaper to run, easier to integrate and has a lower environmental impact. The four partners aim to achieve this by investigating new ways of combining systems for energy storage, energy management, onboard energy distribution and recharging. Work is already under way and Color Line and Norled have specific goals with regard to the outcome. “Our aim is to gradually reduce the emissions produced by our fleet of car and high-speed passenger ferries, and become the first Norwegian operator with 100% zero emissions,” said Lars Jacob Engelsen, deputy CEO, Norled. “We are well under way with electrification on our short ferry routes, but are waiting for technology to become mature enough to be able to cover longer stretches.” “This project is completely in line with our environmental strategy, in which the electrification of the fleet plays a key role,” said Johann Martinussen, Color Line’s superintendent, automation and control. “We want to exploit the energy on board more efficiently, reduce the operating time for our onboard machine park and ensure that we cover a larger proportion of our energy consumption from green onshore power rather than fossil fuels.” The Norwegian Coastal Administration Shipping Company was one of the first Norwegian shipowners to use batteries on board. Its multifunctional vessel OV Bøkfjord is equipped with a hybrid system, a new vessel with a larger battery pack is under construction, and the organisation has an option for a third such vessel. “Only a few companies worldwide currently have much experience of shipboard electrification, but the four of us in this consortium are among the most experienced,” said Trond Røren, CEO of the Norwegian Coastal Administration Shipping Company. “The Norwegian Coastal Administration has an ambitious environmental strategy. Our newly constructed ships, our future ships and our participation in R&D programmes like this one are key contributions in this environmental strategy.” The marine division of Rolls-Royce is the consortium’s technology partner, and will provide financial power and man power. The objective is to develop a system that is commercially attractive for shipowners and as environmentally friendly as possible. “The aim is for the entire system or its component parts to be capable of use on short-haul car ferries and big cruise ferries,” said Sigurd Øvrebø, general manager, product electric and power at Rolls-Royce Marine. “Norway is far out in front with regard to green shipping, and we see an international export potential for these kinds of systems.”

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Dean has been with UKi Media & Events for over a decade, having previously cut his journalistic teeth writing and editing for various automotive and engineering titles. He combines extensive knowledge of all things automotive with a passion for driving, and experience testing countless new vehicles, engines and technologies around the world. As well as his role as editor-in-chief across a range of UKi's media titles, he is also co-chair of the judging panel of the International Engine of the Year Awards.

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