SES-X is currently working on the design project Fremtidens Hurtigbåt where we are developing the next-generation high-speed passenger ferries with electric drive and zero emissions.
– design project
SES-X is currently working on the second phase of the design competition “Fremtidens Hurtigbåt” organized by County Authorities in Norway. The aim is to create a design for next generation zero emission fast ferries with new technology. The competition is targeted on ship designers and SES-X has entered phase two of the competition along with three other suppliers.
The project has ambitiously requested a zero-emission vessel with a minimum speed of 30 kn, 40 NM range, and at least room for 150 passengers. The vessel should have significantly improved energy efficiency compared to regular fast ferries. Lastly, the charging time must be no more than 30 minutes per stop.
Vessels with these qualities do not exist in today’s market. It is our goal to change this.
Why is this project important?
Did you know that fast ferries produce far more CO2-emissions per passenger than airplane travel? The need to reduce emissions from high-speed ferries is crucial, especially for commuters in areas where ferries provide the only viable transportation option.
The ambition level for this project is set high. The project is designed to promote energy efficient vessel designs that can operate fully electric while still maintaining a sufficient range in high speed. The resulting designs can therefore potentially solve one of the biggest technological challenges of zero emission fast ferries.
Wh per seatkilometre
(Source: Godø og Kramer 2019)
The SES-X EL27 PAX is designed by SES-X, with partners, for Norwegian coastal waters. It has a total length of 28 m and a service speed of 35-40 knots.
The hull is designed with SES-X technology, introducing an air cushion between the water and the vessel and partially lifting the vessel out of the water. The SES-X technology consists of the air cushion system, driveline, and batteries. All SES-X components are integrated and regulated by the inhouse ride control system. The vessel is designed with carbon fiber sandwich to ensure low weight and minimize resistance in water.
The passenger area is designed with ample lighting and good sight, for a pleasant passenger experience. The universal design makes it accessible for everyone.
The vessel is designed for 164 passengers and is equipped with two MES-systems on both rear sides of the salon for evacuation on slides. Under the main deck there are two motor rooms and four fire secure battery rooms to ensure a safe vessel. A generator room is included to extend the range in emergency situations.
The vessel is equipped with the latest battery technology which ensures high performance and safety. Batteries in combination with the chosen propulsion system ensure significantly lower energy losses than conventional diesel fueled solutions.
On the other hand, batteries have worse gravimetric density than fossil fuels, which results in electrical vessels having a higher weight than conventional vessels. Since weight plays a significant role for the efficiency of fast ferries, the need for innovative hull technologies will become more apparent when transitioning to zero emission fuels.
Our skilled team is developing the concept through numerical simulations with multiphysics-tools, enabling us to optimize for speed and motions, with low technical uncertainty. Performance and seakeeping are addressed in CFD and numerical tools, including the effect of the air chamber in the hull and planing surfaces.
Among other tools this ensures that the vessel meets the requirements of strength and acceleration levels. The performance and motion levels will be confirmed through model tests during 2022, and by comparing them to the company’s full scale prototypes.
SES-X develops a ride control system which reduces vessel movements and optimizes energy consumption. This contributes to high passenger comfort and high energy efficiency of the vessel. Simulations and data from our two existing vessels are used in the development of this system.
The ride control system is connected to the cloud, and data can be monitored locally on the vessel or through an online portal. This architecture also facilitates for over-the-air software updates, which enables continuous improvement of the vessel’s performance over time.
Large potential for application globally
The SES-X technology is relevant for various vessels ranging from 20 – 40 meters. Vessels with SES-X technology can be built using different types of material depending on the vessel type, intended use and speed requirements. In addition, the technology is agnostic to energy carrier and can be adapted to diesel, battery or hydrogen.
The flexibility in vessel size, energy carrier and material makes our technology relevant for many different use cases globally. The Fremtidens Hurtigbåt project benchmarks the applicability of our versatile technology for high-speed ferries of the future.
If you want to learn more, please reach out to the project team.
Olav Aagaard, Project Manager
Mentions in media
“SES-X is one of four who can win the competition for future…”
-Skipsrevyen April 2022
“Four suppliers in the finale for fast ferries competition”
-Teknisk Ukeblad April 2022
“These have advanced in the competition for fast ferries”
-Troms and Finnmark Fylkeskommune April 2022
“The hunt for future fast ferries has started”
-Troms and Finnmark Fylkeskommune Nov 2021
The overarching ambition of the Country Authorities is to transition to zero emission fast ferries and this project can accelerate the transition.
After the current design phase is concluded in November 2022, the project will enter the construction phase. The construction phase is mainly targeted shipyards, and the actual construction work is scheduled to start during spring 2024. The project aims to construct up to three battery electric vessels which will be piloted and tested during 2025 and 2026, and put into regular operation in the following years.
Interested in technology?
Take a deep dive into how the SES-X technology works and find out how flexible the system can be.
Not looking for ferries?
The SES-X technology is also suitable for other sizes and uses than high speed ferries, check out our suggestions.