A passenger ferry that emits zero carbon will be plying the

routes between Denmark, Germany and Sweden in the next five years. FutureShip, a subsidiary of GL Group, has designed a ship

that runs on a combination of solar power, fuel cells, batteries and wind

power. It can hold 1,500 passengers and about 1.3 miles of parking space for



The ship is built with a streamlined hull designed

for traveling up to 18 knots (21 miles per hour) and would average about 17 knots

(20 miles per hour). Storage batteries hold some 2,400 kilowatt-hours and a set

of fuel cells totaling 8,300 kilowatts power the engines. Turbines capture

additional electricity from the wind.

Human-Powered Helicopter Makes Record Flight

Surplus electricity from the grid

produces the hydrogen for the fuel cells, which is stored in tanks on board.

There are no diesel engines and thus no emissions. Further efficiencies come

from the shape of the hull and propellers.

Such vessels are designed for short trips, where the energy

requirements are not as large as for long-haul shipping. The total

cost, FutureShip says, is only about 25 percent more than a conventional ferry.

While ferries don't often use the heavy "bunker oil" that older cargo

ships do, they do burn a lot of fuel –- about a ton per crossing. They also emit

sulphur and oxides of nitrogen in addition to tons of carbon dioxide. So

anything that cuts this back is a welcome step in curbing global warming.

via Maritime Propulsion

Credit: GL Group