The Essential Tool for Transition To Zero Carbon Shipping


When battery-hybrid power initial arrived within the maritime trade within the early 2010s, it absolutely was beaked as a good thanks to create diesel ferries and workboats additional fuel-efficient. The worth proposition was simple, with fuel savings of 10-20 %, looking on the applying.

For the transition on the far side diesel, hybrid is a vital tool for electrification, cell power and also the transition to zero-carbon shipping. An article published in maritime executive explain about transition technology.

Here’s an excerpt from that.

Battery-hybrid ferry

Battery-hybrid propulsion is ideal for stop-and-go operating cycles, and ferries are strong candidates. Ferry operators are  testing and starting with the Scottish ro/pax ferry Hallaig in 2013. The technology has caught on for passenger vessels of all sizes, all the way up to the 3,200 dwt Color Hybrid, a ro/pax ferry operated by Color Line between Norway and Sweden.

Scandinavian ferry operators have led the way in the adoption of battery-hybrid systems, but the North Americans are quickly catching up. Washington State Ferries has plans to use plug-in hybrid vessels on most routes by 2040. Casco Bay Lines, a non-profit ferry operator in Portland, Maine, recently finalized the design for a new battery-hybrid ferry for its route to Peaks Island.

“Ferries are ideal for plug-in hybrid technology”, according to EBDG principal John Waterhouse, the longtime dean of American ferry design.

Effect on carbon emission

Domestic vessels like ferries, tugs and OSVs have an important early role in the effort to reduce shipping’s carbon emissions. Cutting domestic vessel emissions by just 15 percent could reduce the entire shipping industry’s greenhouse gas footprint by three percent by 2030.

“You can order a hybrid vessel today and it will reduce your fuel consumption immediately. Then you can build shoreside charging infrastructure and run the same vessel on plug-in electric power in the future,” says EBDG’s John Wat”.

Battery power vs Fuel cell power

On routes that are tough to electrify because of their length or limited grid capacity, hydrogen fuel cells may have an important edge over battery-electric designs. The higher energy density of hydrogen fuel means that the designer can fit more of it on board for a long trip.

Fuel cells have a drawback, it takes a while to move the throttle, particularly for fuel cells that work well with ammonia and other hydrogen-based fuels. A battery pack can smooth over that throttle lag by delivering power instantly when it’s needed for maneuvering, giving the fuel cell time to catch up. 

With this synergy between battery power and fuel cell power, today’s battery-hybrid vessels are great candidates for a fuel cell retrofit down the road.

Effect of hybrid on wind farm

UK-based crew transfer vessel operator CWind, a division of Global Marine Group, working with wind farm developer Orsted and naval architect ESNA. CWind set out to make a super-fast, super-efficient, first-of-its-kind vessel. Its new crew transfer vessel (CTV) CWind Pioneer combines a hybrid powertrain with the design of a surface effect ship.

The vessel was developed in response to an industry-wide push to develop and deploy innovative technologies that reduce CO2 emissions while cost-effectively servicing wind farms located further offshore.

Efficient Offshore vessel

OSV market has been receptive to battery-hybrid retrofits, and hybrid power is ideally suited to the cyclical operations of an offshore vessel. Eidesvik began the hybrid OSV trend with the Viking Queen in 2015, and it has converted seven vessels so far. Last year, Harvey Gulf retrofitted a Wärtsilä battery-power system onto its LNG dual-fuel OSV Harvey Energy, making the world’s first LNG battery-hybrid offshore vessel.

Tugs present more challenges when it comes to the space and cooling requirements for batteries, but hybrid solutions are in operation on several larger tugboats today. In the U.S. tugboat market, “hybrid” can also mean a vessel with a diesel main engine, diesel generators and an electric-assisted final drive.


Hybrid has an evolving significance, but it is playing an essential role in getting to zero emissions, a role that looks set to grow as green power goes mainstream.

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Source: Maritime Executive


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