Svalbard Tour Boat Usher New Technology—And a New One
Hurtigruten Adventures Director Torre Hom in Svalbard is living on Svalbard, a few hundred miles from the North Pole, a few hundred miles from the North Pole, long enough for sea ice to retreat and quickly More rain is creeping in. and late snow season.
These alarming effects of climate change are among the key drivers behind the Hurtigruten Group’s sustainability efforts, which recently included a new hybrid-electric excursion vessel in Longyearbyen, Svalbard’s largest inhabited region. Kvitbjrn, a 14.9 m aluminum vessel built by Marel Boats in Sweden, runs on a hybrid-electric propulsion system developed by Volvo Penta.
Powered by Volvo Penta Twin D4-320 dpi Aquamatic Hybrid Solution, the boat has a top speed of 30-32 knots and a cruising speed of 24-25 knots with a range of 500 knots. Volvo Penta’s “Helm to Propeller” package for the vessel includes the engine and driveline, electronic vessel control (EVC) system, joystick controls, dynamic positioning system and driver interface. The vessel’s lithium-ion battery has a capacity of 100 kilowatt-hours (kWh).
Given the current state of technology, electrification is not an option for every ship. One must consider the use case to determine whether a hybrid or full electrical setup makes sense. For Kvitbjørn, which will be used for 3-4 hours of sightseeing, the battery combined with the diesel engine fits the bill.
It wasn’t the only option, of course. According to Home, Hurtigruten had considered ordering a ship with other propulsion arrangements, such as a more conventional outboard engine, but ultimately decided to use Volvo Penta’s hybrid-electric solution based on its environmental benefits as well as improved passenger experience. Selected option.
Tours to Quietbjörn outside Longyearbyen will give 12 travelers the opportunity to experience Svalbard’s true inhabitants, along with spectacular Arctic seascapes and landscapes: its natural wildlife, including polar bears, reindeer, puffins, seals, walruses and whales . The purpose is not to cruise at more than 50 knots, it is to give guests the best possible voyage, Home explained. “His key, in many ways, is silence.”
The Kvitbjørn can be operated in three modes: full diesel, diesel with electric assist or all-electric, the last of which provides a quieter ride that is much more pleasant for those on board and for the pristine surrounding environment less bothered.
“It’s like a paradox to drive guests to the front of a glacier with noisy engines. That silence is probably the best thing about it.” [vessel]”Of course, we go from A to B with some noise and diesel, but it’s quieter when we’re at the destination. And that’s the key here, along with the stability part.” .
And while diesel-electric wasn’t the only option, it certainly wasn’t the easiest either. It took a healthy dose of engineering to pull this off, explained Jonas Carnerfors, sales project manager for Volvo Penta. Among the major challenges was finding a way to fit the larger, heavier batteries with the Marel M15 hull. Kernerforce said the team had to come up with a way to heat the batteries — rather than cool them, as is common in other environments — to ensure they maintain an optimum temperature with cold Arctic waters.
Kvitbjørn is striving to reduce their environmental impacts in parallel with peers from the tourism and marine industry amid extensive sustainability efforts led by both the Hurtigruten Group and Volvo Penta. Increasingly, hybrid and electric propulsion solutions are gaining interest among marine operators working to reduce emissions in various sectors.
“Our vision as a company is to become a world leader in sustainable power solutions,” said Johan Inden, president of Volvo Penta’s marine business unit.
Volvo Penta, as part of the Volvo Group, has committed to having a climate neutral impact by 2050. The company aims to introduce a wide range of hybrid and full electric products to the market by 2025, and Indane said that Volvo Penta sees 2030 as one. The “tipping point” for the rise of green propulsion technologies in the marine industry.
According to Indane, Volvo Penta’s “helm-to-propeller” approach better positions the company to achieve its sustainability goals by allowing it to have more control over maximizing the overall efficiency of the vessel. “The platform we developed is a combination of software systems, very effective drives between all parts of the propulsion system and integration with the propeller. This gives us a very unique position.”
Indane said drive systems in particular are often underestimated as an essential piece of green propulsion solutions. “The more effective you are getting your power into the water, the less of a footprint you’ll have,” he said.
As Kvitbjørn goes to work, Volvo will analyze the fuel savings and emissions reductions enabled by the Penta hybrid-electric solution, Inden said.
In addition, during the next three years, the companies will test hybrid propulsion technology as well as Volvo Penta’s new “e-mobility-as-a-service” business model, with Hurtigruten Svalbard being paid by the kilowatt-hour of the vessel. Hours for operation. According to Volvo Penta, this payment model, while still in a concept stage, has been considered as a way of risk-sharing with the end user as marine electrification solutions are generally expensive.
Indane said the model could be particularly attractive to workboat owners and operators in the commercial maritime sector who are looking to go green. “You don’t have to make a huge investment. You go to the bank, you finance it and then you amortize. You can actually use the ship and pay for it at the same time as your revenue. Earn,” Indane said. “It’s an interesting aspect from a business model and financial point of view, but more than that, it connects us with the customer in a different way, and a different responsibility on our part.”
During the three-year contract period, Volvo Penta will deliver DriveLine as a service; It still owns the equipment. Indane said the boat has been detached from the driveline from a contractual perspective. In this case, Volvo will oversee the Penta drivetrain and retain responsibility for ensuring that it remains operational. “It’s not like we handed over a pot and then the customer calls us when something goes wrong. We are a big part of the operation now,” Indane said. “As we develop this over time, hopefully, an operator or captain will feel that we are a close partner to ensure they are up and running.” are running. That’s the real advantage of it.”
But there are still questions to be answered. “In this setup, we are piloting and we are testing,” Inden said. “We want to understand how this would work in actual commercial operations—insurance, additional financing, responsibility, data protection, etcetera. That’s exactly what we’re trying to do to move that discussion forward. We don’t know where it will actually go. But we’re sure it’s headed in that direction, so we need to understand that.”
In the event that Hurtigruten Svalbard runs out at the end of year three, the setup is such so that the Volvo Penta can exchange equipment for the regular driveline. “It’s very safe in that perspective,” Inden said. “When you do something like this you always have to think 360 degrees. What are the options for all the parties involved? Can we do it safely? Can we do it with productivity and uptime for the customer? I hope they are excited to continue, but let’s see.”