EDIT: With the contents of the former thread being moved over to this one, this posting will be deleted June 1, 2018. The below two messages, "This thread can just slowly fade away...." and "So it's going to get deleted?" should also be deleted. Thanks, "Kahloke".
As Barnacle noted to be environmentally friendly but also to ostensibly save $$$. Our power is already very very cheap and WSF will be able to make long term contracts to buy that power in bulk from major providers overnight when they charge the boats. As a result they will get excellent rates as the providers save money from not have to take power generation capacity offline overnight when consumption drops way down which is expensive and hard on some types of equipment. Modern diesels though are very efficient though so the $$$ savings still might be marginal, someone would have to do the math in detail.
Similar to the bulk rates someone like WSF would get in areas like California that have variable power rates for consumers (unlike here for the most part) some electric cars (esp Tesla's) are "smart" and look at the current rates before charging optimizing the cost for the owner, mostly charging overnight.
Post by arrrrmatey on May 30, 2018 16:11:20 GMT -8
Overall, switching to battery powered vessels will be the future of ferry travel. As someone with a bit of experience in the marine electrification field I can say that there are a lot of technical challenges, but the battery technologies themselves are improving rapidly. However, while charging at night would be absolutely ideal for both the ferry operator and electricity provider, it is not something that can happen right away. Due to the space taken up by the battery (and capital cost), these systems are usually sized to provide enough propulsion and auxiliary power for a single one way trip, plus some reserve. The vessel is then charged at every turn around. There are several ferries in operation in Europe that work this way. This means that charging stations need to be able to transfer several MW-hr in 20 to 40 minutes. This is not a challenge for the battery, but for the utility provider it represents a constantly fluctuating largw load. For hydroelectric turbines (where most of BC's power comes from) this is not such a big deal, but for other forms of generation it is not that easy. One option is for the ferry operator to have another set of batteries at each terminal which can rapidly discharge into the vessels packs when in port. This allows the grid load to be smooth throughout the day but is a huge capital cost.
The above is a rundown of how fully battery powered vessels work. Battery assisted or hybrid are similar, with the exception that the battery does not provide all of the propulsion power (or at least not at all times).
The fact that BC ferries hasn't jumped on this yet is such a shame. They have several short routes that would be ideal for full electrification, and a utility provider that may be able to provide them with good rates. Kudos to WSF for pushing for electrification - though it would be better utilized in BC where near 100% of our power is "emissions free".
Bump to signify that I deleted the newly created JMII Electric thread and merged those posts into this existing thread. We would appreciate it greatly if forum members search for existing threads to post in before creating a new thread.
Islands Sounder article on the hybrid conversion of the Jumbo Mark II's and the next wave of Olympics. Some good photos of MV Puyallup's engine room.
Washington State Ferries plans for an electric-hybrid fleet
LIZZ GIORDANOSun Nov 10th, 2019 1:30am
As the ferry boat pulls away from the dock, the rumble from the engine grows louder and vibrations rattle passengers on the sun deck.
A quieter, cleaner ride could be on the horizon for people and marine life as Washington State Ferries embarks on an experimental plan to transition the fleet from diesel to electric power. “It’s new territory, a lot of stuff depends on what we think we can do,” said Mark Nitchman, a chief engineer for state ferries. “But we should espouse what we stand for and lead the way.”
To accomplish this ambitious plan, the agency is starting by converting the three largest ferries in the fleet from diesel to hybrid-electric propulsion. The three Jumbo Mark II boats — the Tacoma, Puyallup and Wenatchee — are the biggest fuel consumers, burning together 14,000 gallons of diesel a day. They usually run on the Seattle-to-Bainbridge and Edmonds-to-Kingston routes.
At the same time, the state has contracted Seattle-based Vigor to build up to five electric-hybrid Olympic class ferry boats, which the state hopes to put into service from 2022 through 2028. They are smaller than the Jumbo Mark II boats and are estimated to cost between $140 million to $180 million per vessel. This is all part of Gov. Jay Inslee’s goal of moving toward a zero-emissions fleet, which today is the largest consumer of diesel fuel in the state, using over 18 million gallons of diesel a year, according to the state.
Washington State Ferries is leading the way to electric ferries that haul cars and passengers, Nitchman said. And if all goes well, the state could operate the biggest hybrid auto-transporting ferries anywhere in the country. Replacing the diesel engines in the massive boats with battery packs will be no easy task. Nitchman likens the conversion process to major surgery. “There’s a lot to learn. We’ve never run a hybrid boat before,” he said. “I’m excited to be diving into this technology.”
Last month, the state selected Siemens, a global company that specializes in power generation, to do the conversion work. Planning work will continue through 2020 with construction likely to begin in 2021. The plan is to remove two of four diesel engines, which spin a generator to create electricity, and replace them with large battery packs to power the motors. Money from the Volkswagen settlement is paying for a large chunk of converting the first boat, which is estimated to cost about $40 million.
Moving toward this system, boats will not only emit fewer pollutants and consume less fuel but also have fewer parts, saving on labor costs, Nitchman said. “But there is no free lunch,” he added. Batteries must be replaced every four to five years, and crews will have to learn a new technology.
The conversion is the less-complicated portion, said Ian Sterling, a state ferries spokesperson. To be able to run an electric fleet, charging stations have to be designed and built, and the state has to coordinate that work with various utilities providers. Washington State Ferries set a goal in its 2040 long range plan that in 20 years, 22 of 26 boats in the fleet would be plug-in hybrids and most terminals would have charging stations. Until the charging infrastructure is installed, the remaining diesel engines will charge the batteries. Only one is needed to do this, so running as a hybrid system will still reduce emissions, according to Nitchman. Once charging stations are up and running, the agency assumes charging times can be limited to about 20 minutes, the time it takes to offload and onload many boats. That’s when the real savings will be seen. “There are savings even before shore charging, just not as much,” Sterling said.
As the big boats are being converted, the state also is building new hybrid boats. They will work much the same way as the converted boats with diesel engines powering the batteries. The diesel engines will then be used as a back-up system. A lot of the details for both projects are still being worked out. “It will take a long time to be all-electric, but that’s ultimately where we want to be,” Sterling said.