Electrical Engineering & Consultancy Services

In February 2011 the Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Keith  Brown confirmed Scottish Government funding to Caledonian Maritime  Assets Limited (CMAL) for the Low Emission Hybrid Ferries Project, which will see the development of the world’s first sea going Roll On Roll  Off vehicle and passenger diesel electric hybrid ferries in Scotland.

Ferguson Shipbuilders, Port Glasgow, Scotland are now working  alongside Glasgow based ship design specialists Seatec and electrical  specialists Tec-Source EECS to build two hybrid ferries.

The ferries, which will be operated by the current operator of the  Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Services, CalMac, are designed for use on many  of the short crossing routes around the Clyde and Hebrides and will use  some of the most innovative new ‘green’ technology, including battery  banks supplying a minimum of 20% of the energy consumed on board.

Each ferry will be designed to accommodate 150 passengers, 23 cars or 2 HGVs, with a  service speed of nine knots and will be powered by small diesel generator sets,  feeding power to a 400 volt switchboard, which will supply power to electric  propulsion motors that turn the propulsion  units.  In addition 2 lithium-ion battery banks with a total of 700kWh will also be able supply  power to the units reducing fuel and CO2 consumption by at least 20%. The  battery banks will be charged overnight from the mains.

The  vessel design and power configuration will additionally realise  19-24% savings of power input to the propulsion units over a conventional diesel  mechanical solution reducing Carbon Dioxide, Sulphur Oxide and Nitrous Oxide  emissions.

CMAL  are also looking at the possibility of using energy from local wind, wave or solar systems to charge the batteries, making the process even more  environmentally friendly.

The  project will provide a fantastic commercial opportunity for Scotland and show  how, as a nation, we are leading the way in innovative ferry design.

The  first vessel is anticipated to enter service in Spring  2013.