Wightlink’s new ferry is to be the first to feature Wärtsilä’s hybrid battery technology to improve efficiency, reduce exhaust emissions and lower the noise level.
Currently under construction at Turkey’s Cemre shipyard, the ferry will be equipped with four six-cylinder Wärtsilä 20 generating sets, electrical and automation (E&A) systems, and a sanitary discharge system. Among the E&A systems to be supplied are an integrated automation system (IAS), a power and energy management system (PMS/EMS), and a 690V main switchboard.
The hybrid 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, Wärtsilä is also supplying technical and project management, and solution integration engineering services.
“This new Wightlink ferry is designed to be energy efficient and environmentally sustainable using the latest Wärtsilä technologies,” said Stephan Kuhn, vice president of electrical and automation at Wärtsilä. “In particular, the use of Wärtsilä's hybrid system represents a state-of-the-art solution for propulsion efficiency, which in turn has a beneficial effect on exhaust emissions.”
Delivery of the Wärtsilä equipment is scheduled to commence in spring 2017, and the vessel will enter service in 2018. The ferry will serve the crossing between the Isle of Wight and mainland England, and the Wärtsilä solutions will make it the most environmentally sustainable vessel ever on this route. It will also feature two fixed vehicle decks to accommodate 178 cars and have capacity for more than 1,000 passengers.
“Wightlink carries more than 4.5 million passengers each year and is the leading cross-Solent ferry company connecting the south coast of England with the Isle of Wight,” said Elwyn Dop, operations director at Wightlink. “Our new vessel will be Wightlink’s flagship, and we thank Wärtsilä for its close cooperation in this project. We are confident that the Wärtsilä equipment and systems are exactly the right choice for this modern ferry.”