Third annual Electric & Hybrid Marine World Expo hailed best show yet!
“What a fantastic show!” enthused Graham Johnson, managing director of UKI Media & Events, which organizes Electric & Hybrid Marine World Expo. “It’s been so incredibly busy. There’s clearly huge demand for electric and hybrid propulsion systems – and the technology evolution in the 12 months since last year’s show is something to behold. I think it’s fair to say that the marine industry is advancing and adopting electric and hybrid systems at a far faster rate than any other industry at present!”
Over 150 companies had products on display at this year’s show, with more than 3,000 attendees enjoying the very latest ideas, concepts, technologies and components for electric and hybrid marine applications. The conference area and free-to-attend Open Technology Forum featured more than 60 world-leading experts presenting technical papers on the latest and next-generation technology that will power the ships of the future.
New products and new deals dominated the announcements made by exhibitors over the three days of the show, with Griffon Hoverwork using the show to declare it will deliver the second Griffon 12000TD hovercraft to Hovertravel in the UK, for operation between Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight. The 80-seater hovercraft will be the first passenger vessel in the UK equipped with a diesel-electric auxiliary system using ultra-lightweight YASA motors and Sevcon motor controllers.
“The big advantage of our system is that we use no batteries. Most other vessels have batteries to stabilize the voltage, but we have avoided this through special software programming,” explained chief engineer, Mark Downer. “This amounts to cost and weight savings, which for a hovercraft are critical. It’s a 60kW system that only weighs 80kg, and there are plans to increase that power even more.”
The number of engines on board this latest vessel has also been reduced compared with its predecessor, from four to two, which, according to Downer, “reduces fuel consumption by 30% per day”.
Elsewhere at the expo, DNV GL’s director of battery services and projects, Narve Mjøs, shared the latest on the Green Coastal Shipping Program, which is currently underway in Norway and about to enter its second phase. Its aim is to establish the world’s most efficient and environmentally friendly coastal shipping, powered wholly or partly by batteries, LNG or other eco-friendly fuels.
“Under the initiative we calculated that 55% of the emissions in Norwegian waters come from domestic shipping,” said Mjøs. “We also calculated how much CO2 emissions of the total emissions on the Norwegian coastline come from the shipping industry, and this research showed that domestic shipping accounts for 9% of Norway’s total CO2 emissions.”
Further news followed from the Hoppecke booth, where Gunter Schädlich, manager of new technologies, was pleased to report extremely positive feedback for the company’s new, high-voltage battery module, noting that he had had discussions with more than 100 visitors over the course of the expo’s three days.
“Thanks to the modular architecture of the high-voltage battery module, the design process is extremely quick for bigger systems, and charging time is very fast,” said Schädlich. “However, the biggest challenge in developing the system for the marine industry is ensuring it meets the safety standards that are necessary for certification. We did a lot of R&D to ensure it’s as safe as possible for this market, and have developed special safety systems.”
The first day of the show saw Cavotec share details of a second order for a combined MoorMaster and battery charging system for a hybrid passenger ferry in Finland. The hybrid ferry, operated by FinFerries, will be approximately 90m long and 16m wide, and will be able to carry up to 90 cars; it is due to enter service in summer 2017. The vessel will make crossings – at 15-minute intervals during the day, and one round trip per hour at night – throughout the year and in all weather conditions.
Cavotec will manufacture, install and commission a combined MoorMaster and battery charging system. This system integrates MoorMaster to moor the ferry; Cavotec's Alternative Maritime Power (AMP) cable management systems to connect the ferry to electrical power; and its Automatic Plug-in System (APS) to automate the connection of cranes, ships and other mobile equipment using cable reels.
Overall, the show proved once again to be the place to do business, to see the latest innovations, and to meet new customers and discuss the latest industry trends, technologies and needs.