SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden has long been engaged in research aimed at energy efficient vessels by increased use of lightweight shipbuilding materials. A major step forward was a recently completed concept development project where SP Fire Technology conducted life-cycle cost analysis and a comprehensive fire risk assessment for a car ferry in carbon fiber composite. The research project was performed within a Swedish-Danish-Norwegian cooperation MARKIS and received additional funding from SP and the Danish Maritime Fund.
The promising project output has now led to government support to the Danish counties Thy and Morsø for an electric carbon fiber composite ferry, powered by excess electricity from offshore wind turbines owned by the counties. The ship operation will thereby become carbon neutral.
To demonstrate sufficient fire safety is crucial for the possibility to build environmentally friendly ferries in new lightweight materials, says Franz Evegren, PhD student and researcher at SP Fire Technology.
The future looks bright for lightweight ship design as there is a great interest in new energy efficient and environmentally friendly ferries and also in lightweight service vessels for an expanding offshore wind industry.