Today’s ship photos are of the ferry Ampere, the world’s first all-electric battery powered ferry car and passenger ferry.
The electrically-powered ferry was originally developed as a submission to a Norwegian Ministry of Transport competition where the winner would get a 10-year license to operate the Lavik-Oppedal route beginning in 2015. Obviously, the Ampere design won and the vessel has been in operation since early 2015.
Ampere is owned by the Norwegian ferry operator Norled and was designed and built by Fjellstrand shipyard, located on the southwest coast of Norway, with battery technology provided by Siemens. The design is known as the “ZeroCast 120” for its 100% emissions-free operations and its capacity for 120 cars.
The ferry features a light-weight and slender catamaran hull made out of aluminum and an all-electric power train, with two electric motors with 450 kilowatts of output each.
Siemen’s notes that because the power grid in the region is relatively weak, Siemens and Norled decided to install three battery packs: one lithium-ion battery on board the ferry, and one at each pier so that the ferry can recharge during turnaround times.
The lithium-ion battery charging stations, located at each pier, are charged from hydro power. Siemen’s says that the ferry only uses 150 kilowatt hours (kWh) per route, which corresponds to three days use of electricity in a standard Norwegian household.
The charging at each pier takes only ten minutes. Siemen’s says that the onboard batteries, pictured below, are the equivalent of 1,600 standard car batteries.
The energy management system (EMS) is pre-programmed with curves giving engine fuel consumption under different load conditions, Siemens says. The EMS interface has sub-controllers for gensets, thrusters and remote controls to monitor and further optimize engine speed.
The ship’s genset, switchboard, propulsion and thruster control systems are of course fully integrated to ensure a seamless operation.
In September 2014, the vessel won the prestigious “Ship of the Year” award at the SMM trade show in Hamburg, Germany.
The vessel has capacity for 120 cars and 360 passengers and will operate at about 10 knots, 365 days per year.
All photos (c) Siemens