Ad Hoc launches 100% Battery Powered Faraday Class ePTV design

The 15m Faraday Class electric personnel transfer vessel (ePTV) is an all-electric 100% battery power vessel designed by Ad Hoc Marine Designs Ltd (AHMD).

It was designed by AHMD which has over 30 years of experience in designing all manner of high speed vessels including all the naval architecture design of the previous range of CTV South Boats Catamarans built by Aluminium Marine Consultants (AMC).

The vessel is designed to align with bringing the future into today as well as the UK Government’s own vision for the future, with the phasing out of internal combustion engines (ICE) in the maritime sector from 2025, and to be fully removed by 2030.
Part of the future vision is the creation of a new style and livery to match this ambition. The Faraday Class ePTV styling and livery was crafted by DESIGNOVA to distinguish itself from the crowd. AHMD previously collaborated with DESIGNOVA when designing the 100m Stabilised Monohull Power Ark, for PowerX, utilising the creative flare of J. David Weiss at DESIGNOVA to provide their vision. The Power Ark is a vessel transporting energy via batteries, to and from the wind farm.

The existing model of a fast CTV from port to the field which is being stretched to the limit by round 2 &3 wind farm going farther offshore is not sustainable when using an ICE for its power. The whole ‘model’ for the design and operation must change. There are far too many attempts to fit a square peg into a round hole – this is simply a case of denial. What energy company would continue to offer contracts to a company using ICE when its own modus operandi is to be 100% renewal and green? Thus the whole model requires a tectonic shift by changing how the vessel is designed and operated – this can only be achieved by looking forward into the future, and it is 100% electric. Revolutions start with a simple seed of thought, not a flurry of show and bravado according to AHMD.

The Faraday Class aims to fulfil this role by using Sterling Batteries. The power density of batteries is known to be circa 50 to 1 when compared to an ICE, but this should not be seen as a barrier, but an opportunity according to AHMD. The company stated the opportunity to change the narrative from ICE to electric, knowing that with each passing year this power density will slowly reduce, thereby making an all-electric not only possible, by becoming the norm, sooner rather than later. Rather like the Moore’s Law of transistors.

The vessel is designed to have 1 ton equal around 9-10 knots per hour. The concept is also envisioned to have Energy Storage System (ESS) or batteries that can be quickly replaced by a simple lift in and out, has been satisfied. AHMD stated its objective of having a personnel transfers vessel that can be 100% electric, using batteries, by careful selection of the right type and size that makes the ePTV cost effective, has also been satisfied.

The Faraday Class ePTV is one of four daughter vessels that can be stowed on the deck of its Mothership. Overnight the batteries are charged and/or replaced. When duty calls the ePTV is lifted off the Mothership and launched into the field. The ePTV then has around 4-5 hours of usable power, depending upon its duties. When the charge is low it is now possible to recharge directly from the tower, or simply return to the Mothership where the ePTV docks at the stern allowing for the spent batteries to be lifted and replaced with fully charged batteries within minutes. The Mothership is capable of creating its own electricity from its own wind generators where it is not possible to connect with the wind farm cables. It also carries diesel / alternative fuel generators  for redundancy/emergency back-up.

The Mothership is the hotel and charging station and does not transfer technicians to the tower. The Mothership loiters around the area of operation for the day. This aims to increase the level of safety for the technicians when compared to existing SOV operations. In an emergency situation, such as a lightning storm, a maximum of 12 technicians (on the tower) can quickly disembark back to the ePTV.

The Faraday Class ePTV available exclusively from AMC on the Isle of Wight with AHMD/AMC being part of a Consortium that won the clean marine Department of Transport Grant. The other members of this are: MJR power, Turbulent Marine Simulations, Stirling Batteries and the ORE Catapult. This is currently being engineered by all parties in the consortium ready for the next chapter. The next generation … is here now, today.

The Project Barracuda is part of the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition, funded by the Department for Transport and delivered in partnership with Innovate UK.  

Announced in March 2020, and part of the Prime Minister’ Boris Johnson's Ten Point Plan to position the UK at the forefront of green shipbuilding and maritime technology, the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition is a £20m investment from government alongside a further c.£10m from industry to reduce emissions from the maritime sector. The programme is supporting 55 projects across the UK, including projects in Scotland, Northern Ireland and from the South West to the North East of England. As set out in the Clean Maritime Plan (2019), Government funding has been used to support early stage research relating to clean maritime. The programme will be used to support the research, design and development of zero emission technology and infrastructure solutions for maritime and to accelerate decarbonisation in the sector.

According to AHMD, this new technology and innovative engineering can also be used to recycle the current fleet of CTVs. AHMD stated that once the Faraday Class is up and running in service, it provides a benchmark of how best to re-engineer and repower old ICE design CTVs using this modular based ESS power source. Thereby greening the existing fleet from its CO2 polluting ICE engines, to a 100% green and renewable power source. Thus, the long term objective of the UK Government can be satisfied.


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