Passenger Ship Technology was invited to the unveiling of Hurtigruten’s new expedition cruise ships in Kleven Shipyard to receive the lowdown on the innovative technology used and plans to upgrade the ships in future
Hurtigruten’s new battery hybrid cruise ships will leave space for a battery pack five times larger in capacity than the initial pack being used.
Hurtigruten chief executive Daniel Skjeldam told a select group of press gathered at Kleven shipyard in Norway, which is building the vessels, that the new ships would “change the industry, push the boundaries and change the entire face of cruising.”
He said these “hybrid cars of the ocean” would cut emissions by 20%.
Roald Amundsen will be delivered in Q1 this year and Fridtjof Nansen in Q3 2019.
Hurtigruten chief operating officer Tor Geir Engebretsen explained that while it was a large battery installation – two batteries of 680 kW – there was room for expanding capacity to include a battery pack five times larger than the original. He explained “Why not buy that today? Batteries are undergoing a lot of development – you can buy and install it with the current technology, but ongoing development means you can wait a little bit and then make it five times bigger for capacity.”
He told Passenger Ship Technology “We are watching the [marine battery] market and what is happening, who the players are and can see the battery industry growing.”
Asked if the company would use the increased battery size for purely electric sailing rather than just for peak shaving, as the original batteries will just be used for peak shaving, he answered “yes.” But added “Right now, it doesn’t make sense unless you want the ship to be silent, like when [it is] close to a polar bear.”
He added “It is always a matter of the efficiency of the batteries, look at the automotive industry – there has been amazing development throughout the years.”
He said the amount per kilo a battery takes out in terms of power improves month-by-month and “that will happen in this [marine] industry.”
Two 50-m2 hybrid battery rooms house a 685 kWh battery pack each, with a charge/discharge of 1,750 kW each.
Corvus Energy has supplied its next generation Orca lithium ion based Energy Storage System batteries.
A unified solution
A Rolls-Royce system underpins the technology. This consists of:
This is the first time Rolls-Royce’s Bergen B33:45 engines have been used in a cruise vessel. Combined with battery power, these will lead to fuel savings of approximately 20%. The batteries will be charged from the generators and used for peak shaving. Rolls-Royce senior vice president of ship design and systems Knut Eilert Rosvik told Passenger Ship Technology “The batteries will be used to smooth and optimise the operation of the engines to allow them to work in optimal conditions all the time. Normally gensets respond to spikes in power consumption, but this will be smoothed out by the batteries.”
Each Bergen engine has an output of 3,600 kW; each ship has propulsion power of 3,000 W with a service speed of 15 knots.
Rolls-Royce created a bespoke configuration for the Hurtigruten ships. Explaining the solution of using azimuth thrusters with PM motors, Mr Rosvik told Passenger Ship Technology “Our normal configuration has losses in the gears – by redesigning that by removing the top gear and installing an electric motor on top, we have more efficient thrusters.”
He said the company developed a permanent (PM) magnetic electric motor because there is much less loss in an electric motor compared to a conventional electric motor. “One of the great advantages is that you will see the same efficiencies across the full speed range of motor. On a standard electric motor you will have an optimal speed point that is quite ok in efficiency, but when running at low load you will see more losses than with a PM motor, whereby there is the same high efficiency all across the speed range (98% efficiency). There is much less loss.”
The tunnel thrusters are also based on the latest PM technology. PM tunnel thrusters reduce noise and vibration, in particular within the stern of the vessel, close to accommodation. Mr Rosvik said “When you reduce noise at source it saves the yard costs as there is no need to install noise dampening solutions.”
Rolls-Royce also provided the power management system to aid crew in optimising energy savings. Mr Rosvik said “It is not easy for crew to use optimum ways to manage the vessel, but this system shows at all times how much fuel is being used. It is easy to compare vessel by vessel (in the fleet) through the system’s graphic user interface.” This also boosts fuel reduction by up to 30%. The user interface can be accessed on an ipad and used by crew both on board and on shore.
Rolls-Royce has also created a unified bridge for Hurtigruten’s new vessels. Mr Rosvik explained “There are a lot of different interfaces on a normal bridge. There are different screens from different suppliers. Our bridge uses one common and easy interface for everything on the bridge. It does not matter who the supplier is, all different systems use the same interface. It removes a lot of buttons used before so is much easier and removes clutter.”
Elsewhere, the hull was an important part of the ship, both in terms of reducing fuel consumption, but also in terms of the vessel's design. Mr Rosvik told delegates “Before we won the contract, we thought about what we would do to really wow Hurtigruten to get them on board.
“Therefore, we called Espen Oeino, a yacht designer in Monaco and asked him to style the vessel to wow the customer and he really pushed us to use the bow design, which we were not brave enough to use before. I think it is a great design, with the observation deck and the way the vessel is branded – it is new looking but still the brand of Hurtigruten.”
Rolls-Royce designed the shape of the hull to be wave piercing, allowing it to reduce resistance and cut fuel consumption. “The most important thing on this type of vessel is to reduce slamming. It pierces through the waves rather than slamming.”
Elsewhere, the vessel is ice-class PC-6. Mr Engebretsen said “It is a very robust ship at ice class PC-6, the lower part of the hull has 22 mm steel thickness, so it can really go into tough conditions.”
Kleven Yard chief executive Olav Nakken highlighted the importance of the Hurtigruten newbuilds to the yard and said the yard had previously mainly focused on offshore vessels. But this changed after the collapse in the offshore vessel market, and the yard switched its focus to passenger vessels. A modularised building method is used, which he said reduced building time and risk. “We construct the steel in fairly large blocks in the steel shop and at other sources, such as in eastern Europe. The key thing is to do as much early outfitting as possible.”
The yard invested in its first modern robot in 2009. Mr Nakken commented “Robot welding is typically 10 times faster than manual welding.”
“It is very well suited for thin plates like passenger vessels as there are less deflections as it is putting in less heat than manual welding.”
He said of the Hurtigruten vessels “By building two passenger vessels we are learning things every day and getting more competitive and efficient.”
Tallest LED screens at sea
Hurtigruten claims that its new ships will feature the tallest LED screens at sea, which will broadcast live lectures and transmissions from outside the ship. Spanning seven decks and 17.5 m, the screen will be located in Roald Amundsen’s atrium. Facing three all-glass elevators, it will provide a resolution of beyond 4K ultra-HD. It is manufactured by Expromo.
Featured content will include:
Roald Amundsen ship specification
Class: DNV GL
Length: 140 m
Tonnage: 20,889 gt
Maximum people on board: 681
Battery management system: Rolls-Royce
Unified bridge solution: Rolls-Royce
Deck machinery: Rolls-Royce
Tunnel thrusters with PM motors: Rolls-Royce
Large battery power installation: Rolls-Royce
Azipull propulsion with PM motors: Rolls-Royce
Bergen B33:45 engines: Rolls-Royce
Batteries: Corvus Energy
Interior designer: Tillberg Design of Sweden
Interior turnkey supplier: Norwegian Marine Interior
Glass bonding: Brombach + Gess
Hurtigruten plans for LBG retrofits and beyond
Hurtigruten is the first company to opt to use liquified biogas (LBG). This will be added to the power mix of its six Norwegian coast vessels it is converting to LNG and battery power and now LBG as well.
Mr Engebretsen told Passenger Ship Technology “We will blend the LNG with LBG, and the LBG will make up 10-15% of the mix with the LNG.”
LBG has major environmental benefits as it takes energy from totally natural sources, including dead fish, agriculture and forestry.
This percentage is expected to rise as LBG becomes more available and the price comes down. Mr Engebretsen said “At the moment there are very limited volumes. When volumes increase, and more producers come to market, that makes it more attractive to us as the price will come down.” He said that LBG is “CO2 neutral” as it is developed from the waste from natural sources such as dead fish. “There is a lot of waste from the fish farming industry in Norway. It is completely neutral and is used on LNG engines. LNG suppliers can also supply biogas. There are a limited number of biogas producers, and the price is high.”
He singled out what had happened with the increase in battery use within shipping, a trend that LBG could follow.
Mr Skjeldam pointed out that LBG would cut the emissions from LNG used by 60%. The climate-neutral fuel will be deployed on the first of Hurtigruten’s ships in Q4 next year. He explained the LBG could only be used on Hurtigruten’s Norwegian coastal fleet of ships because refuelling for LNG/LBG was not yet available for Hurtigruten’s expedition cruise ships. “They are building the infrastructure on the Norwegian coast and building up the biogas availability – it needs a large taker like us to build the industry and we are collaborating to build the industry.”