All American Marine (AAM) has inked a deal for the construction of a new hybrid electric passenger vessel to be delivered to Red and White Fleet of San Francisco, California.
The contract for the new 600-passenger aluminium monohull was signed recently at the Passenger Vessel Association’s annual Maritrends Conference.
Red and White Fleet will receive their new craft in late spring 2018.
The new vessel for Red and White Fleet, to be christened Enhydra, will be the first aluminium-hulled, lithium-Ion battery-electric hybrid vessel built from the keel up under US Coast Guard subchapter-K passenger vessel regulations and the latest guidelines for structural fire protection, AAM said in a statement.
AAM partnered with BAE Systems to design and integrate the complete battery-electric hybrid system. BAE Systems will supply their HybriDrive propulsion system that includes a generator, control system, and AC electric traction motor. The generator will mount to a variable speed Cummins QSL9 410 mhp@2100 rpm diesel engine. The motor generator offers diesel-electric operation of the AC traction motor which is coupled directly to the propulsion shaft. AAM said that with this configuration, torque is immediately available for the propeller and the speed can be precisely controlled without the need for a reduction gear.
The hybrid system will also use battery power from two 80 kWh lithium-ion battery packs. The batteries will come from Corvus Energy and are supplied under their next generation Orca Energy line. The BAE HybridDrive system can automatically use full electric battery operation at slower speeds and when manoeuvring in and out of the harbour. At higher speeds, the generator will automatically engage and augment the additional power demands of the traction motor.
Red and White Fleet’s vice president of operations Joe Burgard, said: “…We see the propulsion configuration on the Enhydra as phase one in our move toward the full electrification of our fleet. Stay tuned for phase two.”