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Hybrid Catamaran Ferry Named Ship of the Year

Tony Slinn

Called Vision of the Fjords and built by Brødrene AA under its Seasight branding, the carbon fiber, dual-fuel hybrid passenger ferry won the 2016 Ship of the Year award at SMM in Hamburg in September.

Now in operation on the west coast of Norway between Flåm, in the Aurland fjord, and Gudvangen, in the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Nærøy fjord, the 42-meter-long vessel is scheduled to make that 20nm journey around 700 times every year, carrying up to 399 passengers.

Owned and operated by The Fjords, Vision of the Fjords has a diesel-electric hybrid propulsion system based on a combination of two 749kW MAN main engines and two 150kW Oswald electric motors powered by lithium-ion batteries from ZEM. They are overseen by ABB’s DC grid system, which manages and controls the power between the diesel engines, propeller and charging station.

From 19.5 Knots to Battery Power

That configuration is capable of delivering a maximum speed of 19.5 knots, then switching entirely to battery power and a leisurely eight knots to allow passengers to enjoy the beauty of the Nærøy fjord in comparative silence.

The batteries can be charged by the diesel engines and/or by two onshore Cavotec-designed and manufactured low-voltage power dispensers located in Flåm and Gudvangen. Project suppliers also included Mancraft, Simrad and Naviguiding, among others.

The vessel’s carbon fiber composite construction gives it the low weight essential to reduce energy consumption and cut both the power and battery capacities, while the catamaran design reduces waves and wash.

Hybrid Catamaran Ferry Named Ship of the Year
Courtesy of Brodene

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