Scientists at the University of Victoria (UVic) are creating the first North American ship to integrate all sorts of electricity for power. They plan to convert an old coast guard vessel into a “green ship” that will be powered by batteries, fuel cells and low-emission diesel generators.
The diesel generators will be activated only when there is a need for more power, such as for long-distance cruising. “It kind of shows you what you can do without having to re-invent the wheel,” said Kim Juniper, a UVic professor and the leading scientist in the project.
The engines that propel the ship are also silent, being designed for cruise ships. Since the ship uses less fuel, it will also be cheaper to operate. The energy produced by the diesel generators will also be delivered to the batteries, when they are discharged, so there won’t be much wasted power and thus fewer emissions.
The ship, formerly known as Oceans and Fisheries’ Tsekoa II, will have a submersible to service Venus and Neptune Canada, the university’s underwater ocean observatory networks, will work as an oceanographic research centre, will train future marine scientists and will also be used to test electric-powered vessels. The launch date is planned for sometime in March 2013.