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Brødrene AA’s hydrogen fast ferry for zero-emission passenger transport

Published 7 Jul 2022 (updated 29 Apr 2024) · 2 min read

Digital drawing of a ferry

At a glance

  • Emission-free hydrogen ferries for passenger transport over longer distances
  • State-of-the art, aerodynamic design minimises energy consumption
  • Holds up to 300 passengers, can sail 100 nautical miles without refuelling

The Aero40 H2 fast ferry from Brødrene AA paves the way for green passenger transport along longer routes that cannot be covered by battery-powered ferries.

Ferries are the main mode of transport for many people living in coastal or island communities.

Fossil fuel-powered ferries are, however, highly polluting, emitting CO₂, SO₂, NOₓ and particulate matter. Diesel-electric hybrid ferries are a more environment-friendly alternative, but are not entirely emission-free.

While all-electric ferries have zero emissions, current battery technology does not offer sufficient capacity to cover longer at distances due to weight and volume. Thus, a zero-emission alternative for longer ferry routes is needed.

Hydrogen-powered, high-speed ferries

Brødrene AA’s Aero40 H2 ferry is a hydrogen-electric catamaran ferry designed to carry some 300 passengers. The ferry can store up to 600 kg of hydrogen, and its twin engines have a total output of 2 600 kW. This allows the ferry to sail up to 100 nautical miles at a speed of 32 knots without refuelling.

The carbon fibre hull is built using Brødrene AA’s Aero design, which minimises aerial resistance and weight. The design reduces energy consumption by 10 per cent compared with conventional ferries.

The propulsion system is divided into two parallel engines, with separate fuel cells, batteries and control systems. This redundancy allows the ferry to operate safely and reliably should issues arise in the power system.

The Aero40 H2 fast ferry has been developed in close collaboration with SEAM, Boreal Norge and Ocean Hyway Cluster. SEAM has also designed and built the hydrogen-electric hybrid power system.

Concrete benefits

The Aero40 H2 fast ferry will provide coastal communities with safe, high-speed, pollution-free transport.

The ferry will offer a zero-emission alternative for longer routes that cannot be covered by electric ferries due to limitations in battery capacity.

Once an order is placed, Brødrene AA can build the ferry in about 24 months.

Market potential

Maritime hydrogen has a promising future. New zero-emission fuels, ferries and other vessels will be needed to meet increasingly stringent national and international emission regulations, including the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping by 50 per cent by 2050.

Founded in 1947, Brødrene AA is a world leader in low and zero-emission fast ferries made of carbon fibre composites. The company has also designed, built and delivered the fully electric sightseeing boats Future of The Fjords and Legacy of the Fjords.

Tor Øyvin Aa


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