MS Diamant, an innovative passenger ship

MS Diamant, 63.2m passenger ship with hybrid propulsionThe Lake Lucerne Navigation Company (SGV) announced that a new 63.2-metre long and 13.2-metre wide passenger ship, MS Diamant, featuring an innovative three-way propulsion capability, has gone into service.

MS Diamant, which received the funding contribution of the Swiss Government for her hybrid propulsion system and of the Swiss Oil Association for her battery package, has joined an SGV fleet of 19, the biggest inland fleet in Switzerland.

According to the Swiss company, the vessel, which draws 1.59 metres and is for maximum 1100 passengers, had “redefined quality in Swiss passenger shipping” and is one of the most modern ships of its kind in Europe.

MS Diamant was built by Shiptec, the house shipyard of the SGV, also located on Lake Lucerne, Switzerland’s fourth biggest lake and known locally as the Vierwaldstättersee.

Martin Einsiedler, Shiptec’s Head of Naval Architecture and Engineering, told that, from the very beginning of the project, SGV has looked for suitable alternative propulsion systems, both ecologically and economically viable, for the new-build.

After an analysis of collated data about other ships with similar operating profiles, SGV decided on a parallel hybrid diesel/electric power and propulsion system with an additional battery package. It comprises two 405kW Scania DI13 Diesels and two synchronised 180kW 1FV 5168-8W S24 electric motors from Siemens. They provide a top speed of 30 kms/hour and a service speed of25 kms/hour. Battery capacity is 84kWh @ 614V and there are two 180kW variable Sisu/Siemens gensets to secure on-board power in the event of high demand. The ship also boasts a Schottel STT 60 electric transverse thrusters.

Shiptec said the innovative configuration gives the ship three operating modes: Cruising Mode using the main Diesel engine, Electric Mode using electric power alone drawn from the batteries or gensets and Battery Mode, with all on-board power coming from the batteries alone.

Tests on MS Diamant showed that a 14-17% saving in fuel consumption is possible using the hybrid system while the installation of small-size main engines and other factors would help keep maintenance and service costs low.

SGV is satisfied with both the outcome of the project and with the work done by Shiptec. “Alterations were handled professionally and problems that arose were solved in a timely fashion. The project was very demanding but still completed successfully”.

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