Ferry operator Stena Line is implementing a wind power first, by fitting out one of their passenger ships with energy turbines. The wind turbines will both produce electricity and reduce the vessel’s overall energy consumption.
The 184.4-metre ferry Stena Jutlandica, which can carry 1,500 passengers and 550 cars, has been fitted with two 4.4-metre-high wind turbines, with a power output of 4,000 Watts. They start working when wind reaches 3.5 metres/second.
Big energy savings
In a year the two turbines are expected to produce 23,000 kiloWatt hours going straight to the ship’s systems. That’s enough energy to power four average houses for an entire year, and could power the entire vehicle deck of the ferry for a year.
Reduced air resistance
And because the turbines are set on the ship’s prow they reduce the amount of wind that hits the front of the ship by 10%, meaning it takes less oil to fuel the ship. In fact, this reduced air resistance will help reduce oil use by 84 tonnes a year, equivalent to heating 28 houses with oil for a year. This will subsequently lead to a saving of 269 tonnes of CO2 per year.
Robert Akerlund, Technical Director at Stena Line said: “Within our Energy Savings Programme, we are currently pursuing 200 environment improvement projects and this is yet another very interesting project. Stena Line has a tradition of leading when it comes to the development of different types of new solutions.”
Part of Stena Line’s environmental programme
Stena Line is Europe’s largest ferry operator, and the new wind turbine project is just one part of Stena Line’s environmental programme, which has so far seen some 200 eco initiatives.
• ferry captains being trained in eco friendly piloting techniques that use less fuel
• sun film on cabin windows, meaning that the ship doesn’t get so hot and the ship’s cooling system doesn’t have to work so hard
• connecting to land-based green electricity suppliers when in port, rather than running the ship’s engines while it is docked – six of Stena Line’s ferries have this facility
• customised propellers to increase efficiency and reduce fuel use
In addition, Stena Line’s two new superferries, the largest of their kind in the world, both feature a range of eco-friendly features, including:
• catalytic converter
• improved, fuel-efficient sleek hull design
• highly efficient engines with better combustion rates
• onboard recycling facilities
• ventilation systems adjusting to demand
These improvements mean that the superferries use 15% less fuel than ships of an equivalent size.
One of the new superferries is also testing a new surface treatment, which is hoped to reduce to growth of algae and barnacles on the ship’s hull. Stena will then compare its performance with the traditional bottom paint used on the other superferry to see if the new treatment is more efficient and eco-friendly.
Stena’s eco initiatives have helped them reduce fleet fuel consumption by 2.5% each year since 2005, when they started their Energy Savings Programme.
Boosting the credibility of wind power
Wind power is already making a meaningful contribution to the UK’s renewable energy mix, helping the country to meet its CO2 reduction targets. It’s also becoming a viable option for home electricity microgeneration. Home wind turbines can be fitted to any home with a reliable wind supply, and in many cases require no planning permission. The government’s Feed in Tariff scheme also means that any excess energy created can then be sold back to the National Grid.