BC ferries has selected a twin propeller arrangement for its battery hybrid road ferries that will boost the efficiency of the propulsion system and reduce fuel consumption
German propulsion manufacturer Schottel has delivered propulsion units for the two 81-m road ferries to Damen Shipyards Galati, Romania. Each of the newly built vessels ordered by Canadian operator BC Ferries will be equipped with two high-efficiency Schottel twin propellers. Once operational, they will serve the Northern Gulf Islands off the coast of Vancouver.
“This class of vessels is very important for BC Ferries as it introduces a state-of-the-art, battery-electric, hybrid propulsion system,” states BC Ferries director vessel replacement programme Paul Catsburg. “This is some of the most advanced, clean marine technology in the world. The ships’ hybrid design is important for two main reasons: firstly, to improve environmental stewardship and, secondly, to reduce operating costs by evolving to full electric propulsion.”
The main propulsion for the ferries consists of a pair of electric motors – each rated 900 kW at 1,600 rpm and driving the Schottel STP 340 azimuthing thrusters. Provided with a propeller diameter of 1.85 m, the STP 340 enables a free-sailing speed of 14 knots.
A statement said “By sharing the load between two propellers, the risk of cavitation is minimised and tip clearance is increased. Both of these characteristics, in turn, lead to low noise and vibration levels. This concept also improves the efficiency of the propulsion system and reduces fuel consumption compared to single propellers.”
Built to Damen’s Road Ferry 8117E3 design, the vessels will be capable of carrying up to 300 passengers and crew and 47 vehicles. Both ferries will operate in the province of British Columbia on Canada’s Pacific coastline.
The road ferries are expected to enter operation Q2 2020.