A group of Icelandic companies have applied to the Icelandic Centre for Research for support to develop a hybrid-engined longliner.
The project involves Navís, Naust Marine, The Iceland Ocean Cluster/Green Marine Technology and NýOrka in a venture to design a 15 metre longliner that can operate on electric and diesel power, and possibly later using methane as a fuel, which would make it possible to run the boat without any imported fuels.
‘Instead of installing this propulsion equipment in an older boat, we want to design it from new so we can make the best possible use of the technology,’ said Hjörtur Emilsson of Navís, adding that the idea came from the master’s degree project completed by Navís naval architect Alexander Andersson and others at the Chalmers university in Gothenburg which centred around the theoretical options for installing a hybrid propulsion system in an existing 56 metre longliner.
‘The indications are that this hybrid technology can provide an approximately 30% diesel saving, which consequently reduces the carbon footprint of the vessel, and moving to methane would reduce this even further,’ he said, commenting that until now, relatively little attention has been paid to the problems of maximising energy efficiency for smaller boats. These boats tend to be highly efficient fishing vessels with high-powered diesel engines that also power on-board icemakers.
‘We feel it’s time to start thinking about what is needed on board to run these boats economically,’ Hjörtur Emilsson said, and made the point that with hybrid technology the main diesel engine can be shut down on fishing grounds and fishing activities can be carried out using low-noise and emission-free electrical power, while returning to port could be done under either diesel or electrical power.