VESSEL REVIEW | Antonia vom Kamp – Solar-powered ferry for German Baltic Sea operator

Photo: Torqeedo/Christian Brecheis
Photo: Torqeedo/Christian Brecheis

A new solar-powered ferry has begun operational sailings in the Baltic Sea between mainland Germany and the island of Usedom.

Operated by shipping company Oderhaff Reederei Peters, the steel-hulled Antonia vom Kamp measures 14.65 metres long and can carry 20 passengers and 15 bicycles. It will sail on several trips each day to and from the popular tourist destination of Usedom on a kilometre-long route that had once been served by an older diesel-powered vessel owned by a different company. Siegfried Henck, head of the local harbour association, said an electric ferry option was chosen due to its significantly reduced emissions and noise, key attributes for operation in an area surrounded by neighbourhoods, nature preserves, and small commercial establishments.

<em>Photo: Torqeedo/Christian Brecheis</em>
Photo: Torqeedo/Christian Brecheis

A Torqeedo 80kWh battery pack draws power from 4.3kWp solar panels to drive a 60kW electric rudder propeller with joystick steering, enabling the ferry to sail at a maximum speed of eight knots and a cruising speed of 4.3 knots. Kay Peters, managing director of Oderhaff Reederei Peters, said the electric propulsion is also more economical since it consumes energy only when the ferry is underway, whereas a diesel engine will continue to run even when the vessel is at berth and loading or unloading passengers.

<em>Photo: Torqeedo/Christian Brecheis</em>
Photo: Torqeedo/Christian Brecheis

Performance is reportedly similar to that of a diesel engine with a rated output of 59 kW. Also, the incorporation of solar panels was deemed a practical solution, as the operators claim the area around Usedom is one of the sunniest regions of Germany. The ferry retains equipment for overnight charging via shore connection, though nighttime excursion sailings may still be performed as needed, thanks to an increase in the battery capacity.

The propulsion arrangement below the main deck is also compact enough that the remaining space can be occupied by other light cargo, such as crates that contain beverages.

Antonia vom Kamp was built by local shipyards Ostseestal and Ampereship, which said the use of battery power will result in CO2 emissions reductions of as much as 20 tonnes each year.

<em>Photo: Torqeedo/Christian Brecheis</em>
Photo: Torqeedo/Christian Brecheis
Antonia vom Kamp
Type of vessel:Ferry
Owner:Oderhaff Reederei Peters, Germany
Builder:Ostseestal, Germany; Ampereship, Germany
Hull construction material:Steel
Length overall:14.65 metres
Capacity:15 bicycles
Propulsion:Rudder propeller, 60 kW
Maximum speed:8.0 knots
Cruising speed:4.3 knots
Batteries:Torqeedo, 80 kWh
Other electronics:Simrad
Other equipment installed:Solar panels
Operational area:Baltic Sea, Germany

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