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article imageTwo of the world's busiest ferry systems going electric hybrid

By Karen Graham     Dec 28, 2019 in Technology
Within days of each other, the world’s second and fourth busiest ferry services – in Washington state and the province of British Columbia, Canada – announced purchases of electric hybrid ferries.
Between the two ferry services, they carry 46.5 million passengers a year and service 67 ports with a fleet of 65 passenger-and-car carrying vessels.
Hong Kong’s Star Ferry system is the busiest, with 26 million passengers, followed by New York's Staten Island the 3rd busiest with 23.9 million passengers a year.
BC electric hybrid ferries
BC Ferries ordered their first two electric hybrid ferries in 2018, and sea trials were completed in November this year and departed Constanta, Romania aboard the Sun Rise transport ship on November 20, 2019, for the 10,305 nautical mile journey to their new home.
Constanta  Romania - A tugboat assists putting the Island Class ships in place while the semi-submer...
Constanta, Romania - A tugboat assists putting the Island Class ships in place while the semi-submersible transport vessel is partially submerged.
BC Ferries
According to BC Ferries, the Island Class vessels are battery equipped ships designed for fully electric operation. The ships are fitted with hybrid technology that bridges the gap until shore charging infrastructure becomes available. From the exterior details to the engines, the design of the new vessels reduces underwater radiated noise, lowers emissions and improves customer service.
Once the Sun Rise, a semi-submersible vessel, arrives at Point Hope Maritime in Victoria, the ship will submerge itself to allow the two ferries to float into their berths. Both ferries should be operational by mid-2020 following a final inspection and crew training.
"One will replace North Island Princess on the Powell River–Texada route, the other will replace the Quadra Queen II on the Port McNeill – Alert Bay – Sointula route," said Tessa Humphries with BC Ferries, reports CBC Canada. North Island Princess is the oldest vessel in the fleet, having been built in 1958.
Constanta  Romania – Both ships in place on the semi-submersible transport ship.
Constanta, Romania – Both ships in place on the semi-submersible transport ship.
BC Ferries
Both of the new ferries will be able to carry 47 vehicles and between 150 to 300 passengers and crew. The four remaining new vessels are expected to arrive and be put into service in 2022. They will service the Campbell River-Quadra Island and Nanaimo Harbour-Gabriola Island routes, according to CTV Vancouver Island News.
Washington State Ferries
Washington State Ferries has been looking at converting its ferry fleet to a hybrid-electric propulsion system since 2012. It was decided that the conversion of three Jumbo Mark II vessels would be fiscally, environmentally, and operationally advantageous. Subsequently, in 2018, the Legislature included $600,000 for WSF to develop a request for proposal (RFP) to convert these vessels to hybrid-electric propulsion.
M/V Tacoma arriving at Pier 52 Seattle after sailing from Bainbridge Island. Photo taken from a harb...
M/V Tacoma arriving at Pier 52 Seattle after sailing from Bainbridge Island. Photo taken from a harbor tour boat.
Kandykornhead at English Wikipedia
The three Jumbo Mark II ferries, are the most polluting in the fleet, consuming 5 million gallons of fuel a year between them and are soon due to have midlife propulsion system upgrades. Each vessel will have two of its four diesel generators and locomotive engines replaced with battery systems supplied by Siemens.
And Washington State Ferries will have to do some infrastructure upgrades to accommodate the electrification of the vessels, including having charging stations at all the ports on the ferry routes.
Jostein Bogen, a global product manager for energy storage and fuel cells at ABB Marine & Ports, said there are currently 101 battery-operated car and passenger ferries in operation worldwide, with a further 76 under construction.
“Ferry electrification is expected to continue growing in the future,” said Bogen. “We are already seeing numerous cases of application across Scandinavian countries, and the technology has now started spreading to other parts of the world as well.”
More about ferry systems, electric hybrid, bc ferries, Washington State ferries, Damen
 
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