BB Green, the world’s first fully electric air supported vessel by Green City Ferries has been awarded the ‘electric and hybrid propulsion system of the year’ at the Electric & Hybrid Marine World Expo Conference 2017 in the Netherlands.
The fourth annual Electric & Hybrid Marine Awards took place in Amsterdam where a judging panel made up of leading international marine journalists, industry experts and academics, honoured the world’s finest engineers and innovative products in the electric and hybrid marine arena. The BB Green is used as a commuter ferry for up to 99 passengers on the inland waterways around Stockholm.
“BB Green is not only the electric ferry of the year but also represents the future – and I think we should all be looking to see how we can make transportation better for the future,” says Hans Thornell, chief executive officer of Green City Ferries.
The design of the 25-ton vessel, created by Effect Ships International, has a hull that sits on a cushion of air, provided by a fan, to reduce friction by 40 per cent when compared to a conventional vessel. A dual inlet, single outlet centrifugal fan is located in the bow of the BB Green, and the pressurized air it produces enables the vessel to reach higher speeds and use 40 per cent less fuel than traditional propulsion methods. It is the world’s fastest air supported vessel – and the first electric vessel of its kind to be used as a passenger ferry – the BB Green has a top speed of 30 knots (56 kmh) and is capable of high-speed operation for 30 minutes.
A 200 kWh lithium titanate energy storage system in the prototype powers two electric motors. In the context of every day operation, the ambition is to use a 500 kW battery, providing a range of 26km; the air supported vessel can be recharged in less than 20 minutes. The battery system has a multi-string and multi-pack configuration that allows for an increase or decrease in capacity, easily, as required and provides full redundancy; and this also allows for customization in any marine environment. In addition, the battery is connected to an online cloud where data is monitored, thereby enabling the optimization of its operation.