Innovation That Matters

| Photo source Vard Design

A project bringing zero-emissions cruise ships closer to reality

Mobility & Transport

Hurtigruten has presented concept designs of its zero-emission ship in a first-of-its-kind initiative

Spotted: Maritime transport is the backbone of economies worldwide. But it comes at a hefty cost: releasing 1076 million tonnes of CO2 into the air in 2018 alone. Since then, shipping emissions have only been on the rise, prompting Norwegian travel group Hurtigruten to think greener. After partnering up with various organisations – including Norwegian designer and shipbuilder Vard and science institute SINTEF – Hurtigruten has now unveiled concept designs for its first zero-emission ship.

Video source Hurtigruten

Currently, the companies are testing and developing advanced energy-efficient and battery-electric power solutions. One solution involves using three retractable, autonomous wing rigs covered in solar panels to improve the ships’ aerodynamics. And once the panels generate renewable energy, it can then be stored in the ship’s robust 60-megawatt-hour battery system. 

The team has also proposed some more features to steer the ship towards net zero, from incorporating artificial intelligence (AI) for improved ship aerodynamics to smart cabins that optimise heating and cooling. The company has also taken some inspiration from surfers, giving the ship a surf-board-like feature that reduces water resistance. And, to minimise CO2 even further, there are even plans for hidden thrusters that retract into the hull when not in use to ensure the vessel is always streamlined. 

This concept design aims to sail Norwegian waters by 2030. 

Springwise has previously spotted other innovations in the archive that hope to help the maritime sector reduce its emissions, from an AI that cleans ships for energy efficiency to a shipping company developing electric-powered ships.

Written By: Georgia King



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