FEATURE | Electric hydrofoil ferry concept under development in Northern Ireland

Photo: Artemis Technologies

Northern Ireland-based engineering company Artemis Technologies has unveiled images of a proposed design of a high-speed ferry fitted with hydrofoils and all-electric propulsion.

This ferry is among several vessels being developed by Artemis to provide commercially viable reduced-emission transport solutions for operators, cities and governments across the world.

A design offering various configurations to suit operator requirements

Each ferry in the series will have a length of 24 metres, a beam of 11 metres, a draught of 1.8 metres with the foil retracted, a maximum displacement of 70 tonnes, and capacity for 150 passengers and three crewmembers plus 18 bicycles. With front and side loading capability and flexible general arrangement options, the vessel can serve a wide range of customer requirements.

Photo: Artemis Technologies

The ferries will also be fully accessible and spacious with a range of facilities on board including bike racks, cabin bag and overhead storage, baby changing facilities, and charging points for mobile devices.

A top speed of 38 knots can be achieved while and a range of 115 nautical miles is possible at a cruising speed of 25 knots. Powered by the patented foil-type electric propulsion system, the vessels are designed to fly above the water, providing a comfortable ride for the passengers, mitigating the effects of seasickness, and producing minimal wake at high speeds.

Propulsion arrangement ensuring efficiency and savings

Artemis said the efficiency of the foils and the electric drive system delivers significant OPEX savings including lower maintenance costs and up to 85 per cent fuel savings. The propulsion also generates significantly reduced emissions, ensuring reduced air, water, and noise pollution.

Artemis claims that, when operating at a 35 knots average cruise speed for 200 nautical miles per day, 350 days per year, fuel savings will amount to £2.6 million (US$2.91 million) whilst also preventing the release of up to 8,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions.

Photo: Artemis Technologies

Dr Iain Percy, founder of Artemis Technologies, remarked that the new ferries will help encourage multimodal transport in urban areas, hence enabling cities around the world to utilise and benefit from the potential of their waterways.

The vessels will also feature a unique high-speed collision avoidance system developed with ECIT, part of Queen’s University Belfast. The system will ensure the safety of operations in port and close to shore by safely diverting the ferry on an altered path away from sea life, wildlife, debris, and other in-water objects that might otherwise be obscured from the view from the wheelhouse.

Zero, the first vessel in the series, is scheduled to enter service in 2024. It will be operated by Condor Ferries, which, like Artemis Technologies, is part of the 14-member Belfast Maritime Consortium formed to introduce reduced emission ferries into service in Northern Ireland. The pilot operation using the new hydrofoil ferry will run from Bangor Marina to Belfast’s Titanic Quarter with an estimated travel time of around 30 minutes.

Photo: Artemis Technologies

See all the other news, reviews and features of this month’s Marine Engines and Propulsion Systems Week right here.

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