Zero-Emission Electric Cruise Ship With Solar Sails Set To Launch In 2030

On Wednesday, the Norwegian cruise line firm Hurtigruten revealed plans for a one-of-its-kind zero-emission vessel. The electric-powered cruise vessel will boast retractable sails with solar panels for harnessing energy from the sun and wind while storing it in powerful batteries.

Introducing the most energy-efficient electric and solar cruise vessel

Even though about 0.1% of Hurtigruten Norway’s vessels now use zero-emission technology, the firm is still planning a transformative overhaul.

Its first-ever concept, “Sea Zero,” is most likely the most energy-efficient cruise vessel in the world. The firm revealed the assignment last March as part of its mission to emerge as a leader in sustainable travel.

Hurtigruten Group
This electric cruise ship will use three giant retractable solar panels to power it at sea. Image Credit: Hurtigruten Group.

Its first-ever electric cruise vessel, due in 2030, will merge 60 MWh battery packs with many industry firsts for harnessing wind and solar while at sea for a 100% zero-emission experience.

For instance, the firm plans to include three retractable and autonomous sails with additional solar panels.

The wing rigs have been designed to improve aerodynamics, pulling in the air currents at up to 50 meters for enhanced propulsion.

Hurtigruten mentions that in summer, the vessel will be powered by northern Norway’s midnight sun that keeps shining 24 hours daily.

The three retractable wings comprise 1500 m² of solar panels with a wind surface of 750 m².
Renewable energy from the charging port or sails is stored in the huge 60 MWh battery’s storage system.

There’s even an indicator on the side of the vessel to highlight the battery level. The firm seeks cobalt-free battery chemistries with reduced nickel to lower costs.

Enhancing energy efficiency

With dozens of cameras and sensors and AI manoeuvring, the firm mentions the size of the bridge could be slimmed and set up as an airline cockpit.

The design improves aerodynamics and offers guests increased living space and space to enjoy views.
To lower and keep the underwater drag in check, the two thrusters at the stern will retract into the hull when cruising.

In the meantime, the firm is building an underwater air lubrication system to permit the electric vessel to “surf” on a big carpet of bubbles.

Hurtigruten says that its guests will play an integral role in lowering energy consumption with next-gen data-driven solutions permitting them to control and monitor energy use directly from smartphones.

The unique electric solar-powered cruise vessel measures 443 feet long and is all set to host 500 guests in 270 cabins.

Sea Zero is in its initial stages of research and development as the Norwegian cruise line prepares for a fantastic launch by 2030.

In the next two years, the firm will test and develop the proposed technology as it works for a final design.

Right now, the focus is on propulsion technology, battery production, hull design, and other sustainable practices that can significantly reduce energy consumption.

Hurtigruten says that developing new tech for onboard hotel operations that consume nearly 50% of the vessel’s energy will be crucial to the vessel’s success. The firm aims for a 50% reduction in energy compared to the current models.

References: CNN, Electrek

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