This Electric Catamaran Leaves Us Lost For Words

MAY 6 2018 BY MARK KANE 31

Norwegian company Brødrene Aa delivered a 42m long carbon fiber 400 pax all-electric catamaran called the Future of the Fjords.

The groundbreaking ship is the first of its kind and it follows just a few years after the same company introduced a plug-in hybrid version, called the Vision of the Fjords.

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The new Future of the Fjords is equipped with a 1.8 MWh battery and two 450 kW electric motors. It will operate at a speed of 16 knots (18.4 mph) for 30 nautical miles (34.5 miles) before the boat must be recharged.

Doing two trips every day, it will be tasked with 700 yearly round trips along the spectacular UNESCO World Heritage listed fjord route between Flåm and Gudvangen.

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While the Future of the Fjords is stunning, the 20-minute fast charging capability makes us drool.

To make it happen, Brødrene developed a special PowerDock, 2.4 MWh energy storage system on the water!

“This 40m long, 5m wide floating glass fibre dock will sit in the water at Gudvangen, housing a 2.4 MWh battery pack. This charges steadily throughout the day via connection to the local grid network, which does not have the capacity to charge the Future of The Fjords directly. The innovative solution allows the vessel to stably, efficiently and cost effectively ‘refill’ in just 20 minutes.

What’s more, the dock also stores consumables, fuel for sister vessels, and allows black water to be offloaded for treatment on land. This makes Future of The Fjords the only passenger vessel not to discharge sewage directly into the fjords.”

Start of the operation is expected in mid-May.

2.4 MWh Powerdock for the Future of the Fjords

Here is the previous plug-in hybrid version, the Vision of the Fjords:

Press release

The Fjords takes delivery of groundbreaking “Future of The Fjords”

After a comprehensive test program Future of the Fjords has been delivered from Brødrene Aa to the owner and operator The Fjords. Future of the Fjords, a 42m long carbon fibre 400 pax all-electric catamaran, will begin operation in mid-May, making around 700 yearly round trips along the spectacular UNESCO World Heritage listed fjord route between Flåm and Gudvangen. It is the first vessel of its kind to offer completely emission free transport through the beautiful, yet fragile, Western Norwegian landscape.

Second delivery of the Seasight concept

The newbuild is delivery number two of the Seasight design, succeeding the plug-in hybrid vessel Vision of the Fjords delivered from Hyen in 2016. Although both ships are designed and constructed with the characteristic hulls that mirror the zigzagging mountain paths they sail beside, they are very different once you scratch the surface.

Future of the Fjords is the first vessel from Brødrene Aa without a combustion engine propulsion system. The boat will instead be powered by two electric engines of 585 horsepower each, which will receive power from a battery pack of 1800 kWh. This represents about 40 times the capacity of a typical electric car. The installation makes it possible for the vessel to operate at a speed of 16 knots for 30 nautical miles before the boat must be recharged.

“To take the Seasight concept one step further and deliver an emission free vessel with 400 passenger capacity is a milestone in the history of our company, and it confirms that we’re entering into a zero-emission future,” says Tor Øyvin Aa, CEO at Brødrene Aa.

A new standard for passenger transport

Owner and operator, The Fjords, also believes that the vessel sets new standards for environmentally responsible passenger transport.

“It is our mission to safeguard the vulnerable environment we give access to, while providing the absolute optimal experience for our passengers,” says Rolf Sandvik, CEO of The Fjords. “Vision of The Fjords was an important development for us, but we had the ambition to take it one step further and replace the diesel electric propulsion with all-electric – thus eradicating all noise and emissions to air for the entire route. Future of The Fjords does just that, minimising its impact on the environment while maximising the experience of passengers who can now glide silently over the water and come closer to nature than ever before. Taking this delivery is a very proud day for us, and for our progressive owners Fjord1 and Flåm AS. The Future has arrived!”

New system for fast charging and bunkering

In another first, Brødrene Aa has, in close cooperation with The Fjords, developed a unique charging solution called the PowerDock.

This 40m long, 5m wide floating glass fibre dock will sit in the water at Gudvangen, housing a 2.4 MWh battery pack. This charges steadily throughout the day via connection to the local grid network, which does not have the capacity to charge the Future of The Fjords directly. The innovative solution allows the vessel to stably, efficiently and cost effectively ‘refill’ in just 20 minutes.

What’s more, the dock also stores consumables, fuel for sister vessels, and allows black water to be offloaded for treatment on land. This makes Future of The Fjords the only passenger vessel not to discharge sewage directly into the fjords.

“We can’t wait to welcome our first passengers on-board for the trip of a lifetime,” Sandvik concludes.

Sandvik and Aa both now wish that Future of the Fjords can become a benchmark for environmentally responsible vessel operators worldwide, ushering in a new breed of clean, green and spectacular passenger transport.

Facts – Future of The Fjords:

Length:  42 m
Width:  15 m
Materials:  Carbon fibre sandwich
Seats:  400
Class:  DNV GL light craft
El-motor:  2 x450kW
Propeller:  CPP propeller
Battery pack:  1800 kWh

 

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31 Comments on "This Electric Catamaran Leaves Us Lost For Words"

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Nice. I guess that answers the question of how to quickly charge a large battery when the local grid does not have the capacity.

I found it hard to fathom that all the other ships discharge sewage into the beautiful fjords. The cruise ships are destroying their own livelihood.

Yeah that’s terrible.

What do you think the fish do?

One thing they don’t do is crap in your home…judging by your post, they should.

They’re not dumping it in the fjords. That is illegal. They use a machines at the dock that suck up all the waste water from the wessel.

And yet the quote in the article from the ferry company says that other vessels do exactly what you’re telling us is illegal… who to believe? You, or the professional who said the quote?

There shouldn’t be ships or tourists AT ALL.

Of course there should. One of the most important things in life is to discover other parts of the world, other cultures and to get more knowledge and understanding on what is out there.

We should have more tourism. More sustainable tourism. Take only pictures, leave only footprints.

One of the most important efforts is to help humanity not waste money on self indulgence.

One of the best ways to help humanity is to understand it and feel compassion for it. One of the best ways to do that is to travel. An aware person is more likely to help humanity and the environment instead of starting wars and polluting the world.

Like an internet connection that keeps us from tilling the weeds out of our garden every day after we get off work at our day job? Thank you, I will try to indulge myself without messing up the environment for everyone else. I belive life should include some enjoyment, and not just endured.

Yeah, you’re right. Let us all go live back in the caves we came from.

“There shouldn’t be ships or tourists AT ALL.”

If you’re looking to reduce the human population of this planet… just remember that charity starts at home.
:-/

Why doesn’t it have solar power?

They could add some for sure but I suspect, due to the geographic location they operate, the pv output would be minimal.

True.. but assuming the ship isn’t in motion all of the time, and remains stationary for some time, then it would still help a lot. The footprint of a ship is much more suitable for solar than a car.

estimate the square footage and do the math – how many KWh max could it get in one 24 hr period?

“it would still help a lot.”

As TM said, you can’t just say that. You’ll have to do the math. I’m afraid you’re expecting someone else to do it for you. Well here it goes.

Say you cover the entire boat with a 40×15 m solar array, that’s 600 m2. At 20% efficiency, you get a nominal power of 120 kW. During a sunny summer’s day in Norway, that can generate perhaps 5 kWh per kW nominal power, or 600 kWh.

But I must remind you of a few things;
1. This is a tourist boat and as you may have seen, the deck is for people to stand on and enjoy the scenery. Not sure they’re gonna like a solar array obstructing their view.
2. The 600 kWh per day is an absolute upper limit, in reality you’ll not be able to fit 600 m2 of panels and they’ll not generate 5 kWh/kW on a day. In reality, expect maybe 200 kWh.
3. Putting the panels on land near the charging dock is way smarter.

I was 2 month on the west coast of Norway to learn how to operate an offshore crane.
We had rain 57 days of those days. Not all the day, but at least one time during the day.
That was of course more then usual – but.. it’s not the best place to look for stable sunny conditions.
All the moisture in the air, coming inn from the ocean, will fall as rain when they meet the high mountains. Along the west coast you’ll find the place with the most rain in Norway.

solar panels work on cloudy days too.

“The footprint of a ship is much more suitable for solar than a car.”

Obviously you have never done the math. If you had, then you’d know that the power requirement for vehicles and vessels goes up exponentially, by size. So solar cells on the roof of this ship would be of even less use than solar cells on the roof of your car.

When TM said you need to do the math, it’s because you need to do the math.

Because Norway has close to 100% of their electricity from hydropower. And solar would not work there for 180 days out of the year.

It costs more and is less clean than the alternative. Also it is pretty useless for a few months of the year and all nights.

++
Norway already gets virtually all of its electricity from hydro. It’s one of the few places where there’s absolutely no reason to use solar.

I’m not sure why they didn’t add solar to it. This solar powered yacht has unlimited range and it looks awesome. https://newatlas.com/solarwave-64-catamaran/47205/

Nice. Looks like it’s solar is mainly for onboard electricity, but some can be used for propulsion.

Actually the cruiser version is only solar powered. If you want to go faster you can opt for the power version which adds diesel motors to the mix.

This is great! A beautiful design!
In Seattle they are renovating the diesel-electric ferries. Replacing two of the four generators with batteries, the drive motors stay the same, the fuel savings and emissions change.
Working up to massive shore power charging stations.
Much of the money will come from the states Volkswagen settlement, although our car charging infrastructure is still terrible and becoming less adequate with every hundred of ev’s that hit the road.
We have passenger only ferries that because of the Jones Act and Washington law, are built in our shipyards here, we could use these Norwegian plans to build our own, and replace at least four of our boats that arrive in downtown with diesel emissions.
We also don’t allow any sewage discharge at all into Puget Sound, tanks and connections to the city has been standard for years, not a small consideration with a ship that carries 500 cars and 2500 people.

Looks like you found both words and numbers… 🙂

Meanwhile all the ferries on this side of the pond combust fuel, even to cross a narrow river while pulled by a cable.

That 138 foot Cool Cat EV, is hopefully one of many more Fjord floaters to hit the water in the future.

Thats a very badass who ever came out with that invention that will be the next boat that are god privent less polushion 4 planet an our fish on the water