I don’t know when the next time I’ll have the opportunity to take a ferry across the Baltic, but if it’s 2017, chances are it might be on a FutureShip, a ferry that will utilize a zero-emission propulsion concept developed for shipping company Scandlines.
“Slow steaming” is not a new concept for international container shipping, which combines cutting edge design and hull optimization. But this new design will be a double-ended ferry that is completely emission free and that is a new development.
The new design takes advantage of Europe’s booming renewable energy industry, particularly the surplus electricity used to produce hydrogen in Germany and Denmark by wind turbines. This is then turned back into electricity on board the ship with fuel cells, which then powers the electrical pod drives. Batteries on board store any electricity over-supply which can then be used during peak demand times.
“Short-sea applications are simply predestined for our zero-emission concept,” said Fridtjof Rohde, development engineer at FutureShip, in a statement.
Scandlines’ ferries already has a lower energy requirement and since they have a much shorter distance to travel than other ships, they can dock more often. In general, it’s easier for this type of ship to “be green”.
“The technology is there – it just has to be applied to shipping,” said Rohde.