RH Marine has been commended by Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd. (CMAL) at the Electric & Hybrid Marine Awards in Amsterdam. CMAL’s third hybrid, RoPax ferry the MV Catriona won the Electric & Hybrid Propulsion System of the Year Award at the event on June 23. RH Marine (formerly known as Imtech Marine) supplied the diesel electric, hybrid propulsion systems for the three CMAL ferries, which are the first of their type in the world.
On receiving the Award, John Salton, Fleet Manager/Project Director at Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd., shared the honour with the shipyard, RH Marine and three other suppliers. Mr Salton comments: “CMAL is very satisfied with the performance of RH Marine in the three hybrid projects. Together we have made significant steps in the hybrid propulsion development of our fleet.”
Douwe van der Meer, RH Marine Sales Director Ferries, says: “We are delighted to be recognised by CMAL and to share in this prestigious award. RH Marine has been active for a long time with battery technology for propulsion on naval vessels such as submarine as well as diesel electric propulsion for heavy lift and pipelaying vessels. We also introduced and extended this technology on board of ferries, superyachts and special vessels.
Savings higher than expected
While fuel savings of around 20% were expected, after measurements the reductions were substantially higher when the first two ferries entered service. MV Catronia will realise even more fuel savings when she comes into operation as the battery capacity on board has been increased from 750kWh to 800kWh. The vessel is expected to use just 500-600 litres of fuel a day instead of 700-800 litres of fuel as per conventional diesel-electric propulsion systems.
A major difference between the three CMAL ferries and other conventional diesel-electric vessels is that the batteries work in tandem with the generators. This makes the propulsion system cleaner, quieter and cheaper to operate and maintain.
“Apart from the diesel electric propulsion, combined with a battery pack, the RH Marine Energy Management System is unique. It calculates the best way of taking in power for propulsion - if required – without any manual actions necessary from the crew. This delivers a greener way of sailing (less emission) and a remarkable reduction in energy usage. We predict a healthy future for this hybrid propulsion concept, especially in the ferry segment.”
Third hybrid ferry
Initially, the company was awarded the contract for the first two hybrid ferries, MV Hallaig and MV Lochinvar, in December 2011. And following the success of the first two, the third vessel - MV Catronia - was added to the contract in May 2015. She will enter service in July. All three vessels can accommodate 150 passengers and 23 cars.
All three hybrid ferries can be recharged when docked at night, lengthening battery life at sea. And with the power source being Scottish wind energy, the ferries are even more environmentally friendly. CMAL operates 30 ferries on the west coast of Scotland to 18 islands.