Wärtsilä’s hybrid battery technology to be used on new Wightlink flagship ferry

Impression of the new Wightlink flagship ferry
Impression of the new Wightlink flagship ferry

A ship under construction at Cemre shipyard for UK operator Wightlink will be the first ferry to employ Wärtsilä’s technology that uses batteries to manage engine load fluctuations.

The use of batteries in conjunction with four six-cylinder Wärtsilä 20 generating sets – controlled by a 690v main switchboard, an integrated automation system and a power management system also supplied by the Finnish company – is expected to improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions while lowering noise levels.

The ferry will serve the crossing between the Isle of Wight and the British mainland. It will feature two fixed vehicle decks to hold the equivalent of 178 cars, and will have space for more than 1,000 passengers. Delivery of the Wärtsilä equipment is scheduled to commence in spring 2017, and the vessel will enter service in 2018.

Elwyn Dop, operations director, Wightlink, said: “Our new vessel will be Wightlink’s flagship, and we are confident that the Wärtsilä equipment and systems are exactly the right choice for this modern ferry.”

Wärtsilä said that its hybrid management system enables a significant energy improvement over conventional systems by running the engines at optimal load and absorbing many of the load fluctuations using batteries.

In addition to the propulsion machinery, energy and automation systems and sewage treatment, Wärtsilä is also supplying technical and project management and system integration.

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