Finnish electric drive manufacturer The Switch has delivered its first DC-Hub to UK ferry operator Wightlink for installation into its flagship new-build diesel-electric hybrid ferry. The current delivery will be installed by Wärtsilä on the 90m new-build vessel at the Cemre shipyard in Yalova, Turkey. The craft has a capacity for 178 cars and more than 1,200 passengers. It is part of Wightlinks US$57.4m Investing for the Future programme, which is scheduled to begin operation in the Solent strait in the summer of 2018. We believe this is the future of shipping, said Asbjørn Halsebakke, general manager, The Switch Marine Drives Norway. It allows vessel generators to run at optimal efficiency, with batteries taking the strain of any necessary load changes. This significantly reduces fuel consumption and therefore operational cost and environmental impact. The DC nature of the system also allows batteries to be utilised as standby power sources, meaning generators can be turned off entirely. Less running time means less maintenance, as well as less fuel consumption. Whats more, any potential power source such as wind generators, fuel cells or solar panels can be easily connected to DC. So by eliminating the need for AC switchboards, we create a simpler, tailor-made system for more compliant, cost-effective and environmentally friendly operation.
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.