Collaboration Unlocks All-Electric Future of The Fjords? Innovations


Published May 9, 2018 10:14 PM by The Maritime Executive

With zero emissions of any kind, a unique charging solution and a design offering the optimal passenger experience, The Fjords DA believes its latest vessel, Future of The Fjords, sets a new paradigm for the passenger ship segment. The NOK 144 million craft, which will take its first passengers through the UNESCO World Heritage listed Nærøyfjord, Norway on 15 May, has come to life through a collaboration of leading industry players – each contributing individual competencies to provide key pieces of this environmentally responsible puzzle.

“Future of The Fjords marks the fulfilment of our dream to create a ship that safeguards the beautiful environment it sails through, while getting passengers closer to nature than ever before,” comments The Fjords CEO Rolf Sandvik. “Its design minimises wake and maximises the experience for all passengers, regardless of mobility, while the all-electric propulsion is zero emission, and the Power Dock, our revolutionary floating charging station, takes on grey and black water to ensure no sewage discharge into the pristine waters between Flåm and Gudvangen.

“We believe this vessel sets new standards: demonstrating to maritime players worldwide that it is possible to have beautiful, functional, efficient and green vessels, as long as there’s both the necessary commitment and a team to help realise your goals. We were lucky enough to have the best minds in the business on our team, and you can see the result of that today. 

Sandvik highlights the following partners as being key to realising Future of The Fjords:

Fjord1 and Flåm AS: As joint owners of The Fjords, leading Norwegian ferry operator Fjord1 ASA and local tourism promoter and distributor Flåm AS provided the commitment, and funding, to build a vessel that would serve and protect its area of operation. Both are dedicated to providing optimal passenger experience and environmental performance.

Brødrene Aa: A world leader in designing and building passenger ships from carbon fibre composites, Norwegian shipyard Brødrene Aa created the iconic design of Vision of The Fjords and Future of The Fjords, as well as constructing the trail-blazing Power Dock. 

DNV GL: Classification society DNV GL was on hand throughout the project to provide advisory and class services (classing the vessel as a ‘light craft’), using its expertise to guide the collaborators through the entire compliance process and deliver technical insight.

Enova: Enova is a Norwegian organisation promoting low emission solutions, with backing from the Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment. Future of The Fjords’ all electric propulsion solution pushed the cost of the vessel NOK 54 million above its sister ship. Enova provided funding of NOK 17.8 million to help the vessel come to fruition. Additionally, Enova provided funding of NOK 6.9 million for the power dock solution.

Bellona: The Bellona Foundation is a respected international NGO working to combat climate change through identifying and promoting environmentally sustainable solutions. Bellona acted as a project consultant and supporter, with Future of The Fjords perfectly complementing its long-standing mission to move the maritime industry towards zero emission transport.

Westcon Power & Automation: Independent systems integrator Westcon tailored the vessel’s all electric propulsion and battery system to satisfy the stringent environmental and operational demands of The Fjords. 

Servogear: A specialist in the design and manufacture of controllable pitch propeller systems that deliver outstanding comfort, speed, thrust and efficiency. Servogear worked with key project partners to create the optimal product and configuration for Future of The Fjords demanding requirements.

“I’d like to take this chance to thank all of our suppliers and partners for playing vital roles within this project,” concludes Sandvik. “This is a team success and we sincerely hope they’re as proud of Future of The Fjords as we are.”

Future of The Fjords has the capacity to take 400 passengers on the 90-minute each way trip from Flåm to Gudvangen, passing through the World Heritage-listed Nærøyfjord. She will operate year-round, with nearly 700 round trips per annum. The design allows passengers of any mobility to climb over the hull as if on a pathway. Vision of The Fjords, which shares the same ‘zigzag’ style, won the Norwegian Centre for Design and Architecture (DOGA) Universal Design award 2017 for its accessibility.

Facts - Future of The Fjords:
Length: 42 m
Width: 15 m
Materials: Carbon fibre sandwich
Seats: 400
Class: DNV GL light craft
El-motor: 2 x 450kW
Propeller:         CPP propeller
Battery pack: 1800 kWh

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