Gensets reduce fuel costs and emissions for Faroese diesel-electric ferry Teistin

Harsh winds and rough seas can make ferry transports in the Faroe Islands a challenging enterprise. The Teistin ferry connects the island of Sandoy with the archipelago’s main island, Streymoy. Thanks to its five Volvo Penta gensets, and its diesel-electric driveline, Teistin is able to operate even in the toughest weather conditions. All while reducing the diesel-electric ferry’s fuel consumption and exhaust emissions.

Ferries are an essential mode of transportation in the Faroe Islands 

The Faroe Islands are an archipelago in the North Atlantic, comprised of about twenty islands. As most of these are inhabited, ferries are essential for transporting people and goods around the territory. The Teistin is a 45 meter (148 feet) ferry that has a diesel-electric propulsion driveline. It is the main mode of transportation between the ports of Skopun and Gamlaraett, just south of the capital Tórshavn.

The strait is eight kilometers (five miles) across, and the trip usually takes approximately thirty minutes. The ferry can carry up to 270 passengers, 32 cars, and cargo (such as fish). Every year, about 210,000 commuters and tourists use it to go between Sandoy and Streymoy.

Ever-changing weather conditions require a flexible power configuration

When the Teistin needed to be repowered, the Faroese public transport company, Strandfaraskip Landsins, decided to replace the ferry’s three previous gensets with five Volvo Penta D16 MG units. It is a flexible power configuration that provides both safety and efficiency on Teistin’s route across the strait, where strong winds and high seas are common.

When the weather is calm, the ferry can run on merely two of the gensets. However, changes in the weather are common in the Faroe Islands, and can happen quickly. The current configuration means that the additional gensets can be engaged in a matter of seconds. The adaptability of the system allows the Teistin to operate reliably even in highly challenging conditions. Operating up to eighteen times per day, in the North Atlantic, this kind of flexibility is necessary for making sure that the ferry can run as planned.

Diesel-electric ferry gensets

Genset fuel efficiency reduces costs and emissions

Strandfaraskip Landsins has been using Volvo Penta engines for more than fifty years. When they decided to install the five Volvo Penta units in the Teistin ferry, they primarily did so in order to provide it with more power, and better redundancy. At the time of writing, each of the gensets have been in operation for over 25,000 hours without any failure. Fuel usage has been reduced by twenty-two percent, lowering operational costs and leading to a significant reduction in emissions. Meanwhile, the oil change intervals have doubled. Today, the oil has to be changed every 1,000 hours, compared to every 500 hours before the gensets were installed.

Volvo Penta’s D16 MG marine gensets provide prime power of up to 420 kWe at 50 hertz, and 478 kWe at 60 hertz. She is fitted with two azimuth thrusters for propulsion, and a bow thruster. A D7A TA genset for emergency and harbor power for the Teistin ferry has also been provided. Volvo Penta has supplied engines for other Strandfaraskip Landsins ferries as well. The two companies are continuing to collaborate on new projects.

Electric drives enable ferries to make precise and subtle maneuvers

The diesel-electric drive system of the Teistin provides the ferry captain access to immediate and full torque from the azimuths. Some of the landings are very exposed, or have narrow inlets where the maneuvering needs to be very precise and direct. This is especially useful when navigating through a narrow passage, such the breakwaters of the port at Skopun. The port entrance has only about a meter (approximately three feet) on either side. Thanks to the diesel-electric drive, the ferry responds quickly in order to safely and smoothly navigate between the breakwaters.

Feel free to contact me if you want to know more about Volvo Penta’s work with both hybrid and diesel-electric ferries and marine gensets. You can also find lots of other informative articles here on our blog, covering topics such as marine engine emission reduction, gensets, and a whole lot more.

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