The world's first battery-powered work boat for fish farming has been brought into operation in Norway. The "Elfrida" electric boat is used off the coast of Central Norway by Salmar Farming AS, a Norwegian salmon farmer. Siemens developed and supplied the complete electrical propulsion and control system to the local shipbuilding company, Ørnli Slipp. The double-hulled boat is around 14 meters long and eight meters wide. It requires around 50 minutes for its daily trip to the fish hatchery, which lies twelve kilometers off the coast. One hundred percent battery operation is possible throughout a normal working day of about eight hours.
The "Elfrida" has been sailing out of its home port of the Island of Frøya, in Norway, since February. The work boat is used to transport feed and equipment, to repair or relocate fish cages, check anchorages, and make inspections. The ship is equipped with the BlueDrive PlusC propulsion system from Siemens, which incorporates an energy management system, thruster and propeller controls, and EcoMain remote monitoring. The Siemens technology was developed in Trondheim, Norway, and is based on solutions designed for offshore ships. This ensured that the technology was tested under the severest conditions and further developed over many years. The electric propulsion system saves not only fuel but also operating costs, because an electric motor requires maintenance much less often than a diesel engine. Furthermore, work on the "Elfrida" is eco-friendly because of the absence of the exhaust gases, vibrations, and noise produced by a diesel engine.
Siemens is pioneer as a supplier of green solutions for shipbuilding: After the "Ampere", the world's first electric ferry in Norway, and an order from FinFerries, a Finnish shipping company, a third order followed in 2016 from Fjord1, a Norwegian ferry operator. In November 2016, Siemens won a supply contract for two new battery-powered ferries. The ferries are operated by FosenNamsos Sjø AS and will sail between Flakk and Rorvik on the west coast of Norway. Both vessels can carry 130 cars and 390 passengers and are due to go into operation in 2019. So, the world's first fully electric ferries are sailing with technology developed and manufactured by Siemens.
Using electric ships is especially beneficial in Norway, because the country generates all its electricity from renewable sources. Consequently, the generation of electricity does not emit any greenhouse gases. The fishing fleet alone, which nowadays consumes some 400 million liters of diesel each year, could reduce its fuel consumption by 80 percent by converting to electric propulsion. This would contribute toward the 40 percent reduction of the greenhouse gas CO2, to which the Norwegian government has committed itself.
Source and top image: Siemens
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