Rolls-Royce supplies innovative automatic crossing system

Kontrollsystem für Fähren
The system will control the ferries as they cross the fjord between Flakk and Rørvik connecting the peninsula of Fosen with Trondheim. © Rolls Royce

Rolls-Royce says they have signed a deal with Norwegian shipbuilder Kleven to supply its innovative automatic crossing system, for two new double-ended plug-in battery-hybrid ferries being built for Norwegian ferry company Fosen Namsos Sjø.

The system will control the ferries as they cross the fjord between Flakk and Rørvik connecting the peninsula of Fosen with Trondheim.

New ferry contracts in Norway have strict yearly limits on energy consumption as part of the commercial agreement between the ferry operator and the customer, in this case the county authority Sør-Trøndelag Fylkeskommune. Automatic systems ensure consistent behaviour during the journey and hence predictable energy consumption.

The automatic crossing system ensures safe and energy-efficient transit back and forth by automatically controlling the vessel’s acceleration, deceleration, speed and track. Two energy-efficient Rolls-Royce Azipull thrusters respond adaptively to environmental conditions to ensure optimal behaviour and maximise efficiency.

The Captain will supervise the automatic system and intervene using traditional manoeuvring systems if needed. In the first deliveries the Captain will manoeuvre the ferry manually the last few metres to the dock.

If the Captain is not, for some reason, able to take manual control, the system stops the vessel at a safe distance from the quayside and keeps it safely positioned automatically until further action can be taken.

Jann Peter Strand, Rolls-Royce, Product Manager, Automation & Control – Marine said: “These additional orders for the Rolls-Royce Automatic Crossing System mean it is fast becoming the industry standard for double ended ferry control systems helping the customer meet their contractual need to ensure predictable energy consumption optimised for varying environmental conditions. The Automatic Crossing System can be installed as an add-on to any standard Rolls-Royce azimuthing thruster which means it can be retrofitted to the existing fleet of ferries around the world.”

Rolls-Royce expects shortly to be able to integrate the system into a variant of its award winning Unified Bridge. The company is also looking to test an extension of the product allowing automatic berthing in the near future.

Construction of the Multi Maritime designed vessels will take place at the Kleven owned Myklebust Verft Shipyard in Norway, starting in May. The vessels are due for delivery in late 2018 and will begin operation on 1 January 2019.

This order follows Rolls-Royce’s announcement of the sale of its first automatic crossing system to Norwegian ferry company Fjord1. Fjord 1 will use the system to control two new double-ended battery ferries as they cross between Anda and Lote on the 1330 km long E39 which connects communities along the west coast of Norway.

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