Future of the Fjords meets 2026 emission targets, today

Friday, 5 April 2019

NORWAY: Future of the Fjords represents a new standard of environmentally responsible passenger transport, as the first fully electric carbon fiber vessel in the world.  The development of this electric catamaran minimizes environmental impacts in the Norwegian fjords, while maximizing the experience of natural beauty for the passengers – an essential approach for its route between Flåm and Gudvangen in the pristine Nærøyfjord, part of the UNESCO World Heritage park.

Norwegian fjords enter a zero-emission future

Norwegian fjords enter a zero-emission future

In 2018 the Norwegian parliament passed a resolution to make its iconic fjords a zero-emissions zone as soon as possible and by 2026 at the latest. This defines the deadline for vessel operators in the fjords to eliminate pollution emitted by their ships – a deadline which Future of the Fjords has met with eight years to spare.

Optimizing energy efficiency is a key strategy in ensuring the viability of the vessel and reducing its environmental impact. Therefore, Future of the Fjords uses high tech solutions in a range of disciplines to achieve lowest possible energy consumption. Light carbon sandwich laminates for the hull and superstructures ensure approximately half the weight by comparison with conventional materials.

“Quality suppliers such as Danfoss, Westcon and others give us good working conditions and a nearly maintenance-free ship to operate in this area”

- Lars Haugnes, Chief Engineer, Future of the Fjords

Pure performance

The battery-powered propulsion system eliminates NOx and CO2 emissions, and reduces noise and vibrations. The heart of the vessel is the battery pack which drives the two electric motors. When charged, the vessel can run for more than two hours at a speed of 11 knots. No aspect of performance optimization is left to chance. Danfoss solutions are integrated into systems throughout the vessel, working constantly behind the scenes to control, regulate and optimize performance. They ensure reliable operation to reduce maintenance to an absolute minimum.

Lightweight power conversion delivers full thrust

The power system designed by systems integrator Westcon is 2 tons lighter in weight than the next best alternative, which lowers the propulsion power required. This huge benefit for efficiency was only possible due to the freedom of design Danfoss VACON® drives offer, explains Frode Skaar, Business Development Manager at Westcon:

“Thanks to the versatility of Danfoss AC drives which are fully compatible with many alternative technologies, we were able to design both the power system and the shore supply in a very agile manner. Compared to our closest competitor, we could find other types of equipment doing the same job which was 2 tons lighter, required fewer components, and ensured lower power losses, resulting in a better system”

The VACON® drives also enabled Westcon to overcome challenges in heat management of the power conversion systems, resulting from versatile components and a problem-solving process where shipbuilder and owner worked positively and flexibly together throughout.

Fossil-free propulsion

The main propulsion, bow thrusters and stern thrusters are equipped with VACON® drives to control speed and optimize power consumption and maneuverability. These drives also ensure safe and high efficiency power conversion from the battery pack.

World’s first floating power dock

The local mains grid does not have sufficient capacity to charge Future of The Fjords directly. Instead, the vessel recharges its battery at the PowerDock, a floating fiberglass dock with 2.4 MWh charging capacity: 1.2 MWh sourced from a battery pack and 1.2 MWh from the grid. Power Dock charges steadily throughout the day, powered by the local mains grid. Recharging the vessel takes just 20 minutes, during which the dock delivers about 800 kWh of power.

PowerDock also takes care of grey and black water from Future of the Fjords, ensuring no pollution by sewage discharge into the fjords.

Learn about the drives, sensors and switches onboard

  • VACON® NXP Air Cooled
    VACON® NXP Air Cooled

    Designed for a broad range of demanding applications, focusing on higher power sizes and system drives.

  • VACON® 100 FLOW
    VACON® 100 FLOW

    Dedicated functionality that improves flow control and saves energy in industrial pump and fan applications.

  • VACON® NXP DC/DC Converter
    VACON® NXP DC/DC Converter
  • VACON® NXP Grid Converter
    VACON® NXP Grid Converter

    Air- and liquid-cooled drives specifically designed for smart grid, energy storage, power conversion and marine energy management applications.

  • MBT 5250 and 5252, heavy-duty temperature sensors

    Heavy-duty temperature sensors for controlling cooling water, lubrication oil, hydraulic oil and refrigeration plants within general industry and marine applications. These temperature sensors are based on a standardized Pt 100 or Pt 1000 element, which gives a reliable and accurate measurement.

Power conversion case studies

  • Future of the Fjords meets 2026 emission targets, today
    Future of the Fjords meets 2026 emission targets, today

    This world-first fully-electric carbon fiber vessel safeguards the pristine Norwegian fjord environment, ensuring zero emissions.

  • Scheveningen harbor environmentally upgrades with clean shore power
    Scheveningen harbor environmentally upgrades with clean shore power

    On average, 1,000 liters marine diesel are saved every day thanks to the new shore power supply in Scheveningen harbor, resulting in dramatic reductions in air pollution.

  • Battery retrofit saves fuel and improves air quality
    Battery retrofit saves fuel and improves air quality

    Denmark’s shortest ferry route is now a pioneer of battery power.

  • Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL)
    38% fuel savings and emission reductions for CMAL ferries

    CMAL ferries use 38% less fuel than conventional vessels and emissions are reduced by a similar amount.

  • Hybrid powertrain improves tugboat economy and maneuverability
    Hybrid powertrain improves tugboat economy and maneuverability

    The Telstar saves 20% on operating costs compared to traditional tugboats.

  • VACON® drives power hybrid ferries 24/7
    VACON® drives power hybrid ferries 24/7

    Passenger ferries bridge Amsterdam’s IJ River, keeping the city connected around the clock. Hybrid propulsion powered by VACON® drives ensures 24/7 uptime, smaller generator size, better air quality, less noise and easy maneuverability of the vessels.