SCHOTTEL to propel world’s first hydrogen ferry

SCHOTTEL to propel world’s first hydrogen ferry
Photo: LMG Marin

Two new environmentally friendly vessels for the Norwegian ferry operator Norled will be propelled by high efficiency azimuth thrusters from SCHOTTEL. One of these LMG Marin designed vessels – currently under construction at Westcon Yards, Norway – will be the first ferry in the world to sail on liquid hydrogen.

Sigvald Breivik, technical director at Norled:

"Our goal is to create a new icon among eco-friendly ferries. Hydrogen, as a zero-emission fuel, will be the alternative energy for ferry propulsion systems in cases where longer sailing distances are required and charging batteries is not possible. The energy efficient SCHOTTEL Rudder EcoPeller (SRE), which we now have selected for several of our new vessels, is an important piece in this puzzle. Through this selection, we ensure our place at the forefront of the development of zero-emission ferries."

Both ferry newbuilds will be a hybrid mix of batteries and hydrogen fuel cells. The first project – the one using liquid hydrogen – will be split 50/50 between batteries and fuel cells. The second ferry will be powered by batteries only. Each of the new vessels will be driven by two SCHOTTEL Rudder EcoPeller type SRE 340 L FP with an input power of 960 kW each. With fixed pitch propellers and a propeller diameter of 2.10 m, the ferry will operate at a service speed of 12 knots.

The SRE optimally meets Norled’s requirements as it covers the power range from 500 to 5,000 kW and ensures high efficiency even at very low loads. It is an ecologically friendly propulsion system developed primarily for open seas and coastal operating conditions.

Thanks to its efficiency, the azimuth thruster also contributes to the ferries’ low fuel consumption, resulting in low operating costs and reduced emissions. Beyond this, the SRE improves course-keeping stability and thus reduces steering angle corrections.

The LMG 80 ferries measure 82.40 metres in overall length and have a moulded breadth of 17.00 metres. They will operate on the Hjelmeland – Skipavik – Nesvik route in Ryfylke, Rogaland County starting in the spring of 2021. The double-ended vessels will each have a capacity of 299 passengers and 80 cars.