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PHOTO CAPTION: 'Spirt of the Sound' hybrid-electric marine research vessel.

Marine 'Hour of Power' Movement Gaining Ground

Increasingly, sea ports are looking to cut air pollution from working ships and boats, and hybrid-electric systems offer a way to achieve that.

Published: 07-Jul-2015

It's called the "Hour of Power," the time in which it takes for a marine vessel to enter or leave a port in zero-pollution mode using the battery power supplied by its hybrid-electric propulsion system. The Spirit of the Sound marine research catamaran pictured above being one such example. It's able to operate for up to 60-minutes on electric drive.

According to John Haynes, an Associate Fellow of The Nautical Institute, as well as Yachtmaster Ocean and Advanced Powerboat Instructor, "For commercial and professional organizations the concept of running vessels with zero emissions at up to 10 knots for one hour will shape decisions that lead to improvements of in-service systems and procurement of next generation vessels. The overall objective is fuel saving and improved efficiency by all means."

These systems can be either series hybrid, where the drive shaft is powered only by the electric motor, and parallel drives where both the diesel engine and electric motor can spin the drive shaft separately or in unison. Haynes sees the best candidates for hybrid-electric "Hour of Power" systems including, "wind farm service vessels and pilot boats that have relatively consistent duty cycles." Passenger ferries are also being modified to such drive systems.

The first international Hybrid Marine Power & Propulsion Conference will be held in October 21 in Poole, England.

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