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Maritime Propulsion

Posted by February 18, 2015

Ballerina's First Electric Ferry Enters Service

Photo courtesy of DIAB

With around half a million plug-in electric cars are on the roads worldwide, electric propulsion is now slowly spreading into other types of transportation, one of which is electric boats. Stockholm ferry operator Ballerina has introduced a new, electrically propelled passenger ferry, built in composite material, that runs smoothly, comfortably and with essentially none of the noise that accompanies combustion-engined vessels.

Silent, clean and cost-effective operations are key priorities for the marine transportation industry. Driven by ever tighter environmental regulations, the civil marine industry aims to reduce both emissions and noise nuisance while increasing efficiency. One interesting area is electric propulsion and many designers are integrating new concepts in ship architecture with battery technologies.

Ballerina recently introduced its first battery-powered boat featuring a high-tech marine battery system from Saft. M/S Sjövägen carries foot passengers and cyclists between 10 stops on a 50-minute route of the waterways of Stockholm. It operates throughout the year, completing eight round trips per day. The batteries are fully charged during the ferry’s overnight stay in the harbor with two partial charging sessions during the course of the day.

The vessel was developed, designed and produced by Faaborg Vaerft together with Principia North A/S and Wilhelmsen Technical Solution and built in DIAB’s Divinycell H. Sandwich composite was mainly used for the hull, topsides and wheelhouse, said Jan Ulrich Mortensen, Managing Director at Faaborg Vaerft. It is a great solution due to its strength, noise reduction and isolation properties. M/S Sjövägen is ice-reinforced, equipped with double propeller system, 2 x 160 kW electrical engines for propulsion, 500 kWh battery bank, electrohydraulic steering system, electrical bow thruster and communication and navigation equipment. It is designed for two-men operation and carries up to 150 people, 15 bikes, six wheelchairs and eight strollers.

“Faaborg Vaerft has more than 40 years of experience building vessels in sandwich composite material and they have been using DIAB products for more than 30 years. Our cooperation with DIAB functions very well and we feel that DIAB provides great service and assistance,” said Jan Ulrich Mortensen

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