First cruise ship powered with battery sails for the Arctic

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Published: July 2, 2019 2:50:30 PM

Named 'the Roald Amundsen', the ship is a hybrid expedition ship and can take up to 500 passengers.

Battery powered cruise ship (source: Reuters)Battery powered cruise ship (source: Reuters)

A cruise ship propelled partially by battery power is set to go on its maiden voyage heading out from northern Norway. The cruise ship is the fisrt in the world to be propelled by battery power. Named ‘the Roald Amundsen’, the ship is a hybrid expedition ship and can take up to 500 passengers. The ship is designed to sail even in the rough waters.

A report by the Reuters suggests that the ship is named after the Norwegian explorer who navigated the ‘Northwest Passage’ in 1903-1906 and also was the first to reach the South Pole in 1911. This week, the ship will head for the Arctic from Tromsoe and before will sail the Northwest Passage to Alaska. The ship will then head South to reach Antartica in October.

Daniel Skjeldam said that the cruise ship’s engines mainly run on Marnie Gasoil but the battery pack instilled in the ship enables it to run solely on it for around 45 to 60 minutes under normal conditions.

The battery pack will help in saving fuel and will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 20% in comparison to the ship operating solely on Marine Gasoil.

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The chief executive of Hurtigruten, Daniel Skjeldam in an interview said, “The engineering linked to the cruise ship is very beautiful. It is designed in such a way that it takes out the excessive amount of energy from the engines and store them into the battery when there is no requirement by the ship and releases the stored energy back to the ship’s engine when it needed it in excess. Like this, we can reduce emissions significantly and that too without the need to use charging stations.”

He added that the company was inspired by Norway’s Fleet of hybrid ferries and also by the growing numbers of electric vehicles in the fleet. The company operates scenic lines along the country’s fjords into the Arctic. The installation of battery technology in ships is fancy in itself as very fewer ports provide charging stations.

“We expect the future to have batteries based ships as an important part but we don’t want to totally rely on it as we can sail for 15-20 days in zones that are totally secluded from the mainland or towns and sometimes finding a charging station can be a challenge,” said Daniel Skjeldam.

The possibility of big ships having batteries on larger ships depends on the possibility of the development of lighter and more powerful batteries that can last longer and in addition, the availability of charging stations will remain an issue as only a few ports have charging stations.

Skjeldam added that the company’s next hybrid cruise ship which has to be delivered later this year on order will have a battery pack with twice the capacity of the Roald Amundsen

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