Hurtigruten’s Sea Zero Concept: Maximizing Efficiency with Latest Tech

Sea Zero

“We wanted to focus on how to reduce energy consumption on the ships instead of going straight into what kind of fuel type or energy source we will use,” said Gerry Larsson-Fedde, chief operating officer at Hurtigruten Norway.

The company’s new Sea Zero concept, in partnership with various suppliers, aims to produce an energy-efficient Norwegian coastal ship in time for 2030, powered by a 60 MW battery pack, retractable sails and solar panels.

Larsson-Fedde said that having 60 MW of battery power on a ship by 2030 is easily feasible.

Complementing the batteries will be three retractable sails that will be fully automated for wind direction, he continued.

“The only manual part of the system will be someone telling the sails to retract.”

With Norway featuring an abundance of daylight in the summer, the sails will be covered in solar panels, as will most of the aerodynamically optimized superstructure of the 135-meter-long vessel.

“There has been a lot of focus on underwater optimization to reduce drag, but there hasn’t been the same amount of focus above the water,” Larsson-Fedde said.

That will change with this ship design, with the company looking to optimize the aerodynamics of the superstructure to create less friction as the ship essentially punches a big hole through the air.

That also means a new bridge design, with class society and flag state support.

“With the technology that is developing with AI and situational awareness, we believe we can reduce the bridge size to something similar to the cockpit of an airplane,” Larsson-Fedde said. “We are taking that concept and thinking to the next level, using machine learning for maneuvering for all these ports we go into frequently, and to use that data as a support system for the bridge officers.”

The company hopes to reduce energy consumption by 40 to 50 percent, and also pick up gains on HVAC optimization, air lubrication and getting guests involved in the energy-saving process.

“The hotel operation on a passenger ship consumes a substantial amount of power,” Larsson-Fedde said. “We are looking at ways of making guests more aware, and developing an app so they can monitor their energy consumption and be part of the journey.”

Excerpt from the Cruise Industry News Quarterly Magazine Fall 2023

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