Volvo Penta gensets reducing fuel for island-hopping ferry

The Faroe Islands transport authority reports excellent operational efficiency in challenging weather conditions and more than a 20 per cent reduction in fuel since repowering its Skopun-to-Gamlaraett ferry with Volvo Penta gensets.

Island-hopping ferry sees reduced fuel costs thanks to Volvo Penta gensets

The Faroe Islands is an archipelago in the North Atlantic that consists of 18 rocky islands, and so ferries are vital for transportation for inhabitants and tourists. When the islands’ public transport authority needed to repower one of its diesel-electric ferries, it turned to Volvo Penta to supply new gensets. The Strandfaraskip Landsins organization required a more flexible power configuration to ensure safety and efficiency on the route, which is often battered by heavy seas and high winds. It chose to install five Volvo Penta D16 MG units, running at 1,500 rpm for the ferry named ‘Teistin’.

“We have had a very good experience with Volvo Penta and we tested the power options together to make sure it was suitable,” says Johan Petur Abrahamsen, technical manager at Strandfaraskip Landsins. “We can run the ferry on two gensets when the weather is good, and a lot of the time three sets are enough. But the weather is very changeable here; it can become very windy very quickly, and with the Volvo Penta configuration we can engage additional gensets very quickly – we can go from using two to five gensets in 12 seconds, so it’s a flexible arrangement.”

Excellent fuel efficiency reduces costs and emissions

The 45m Teistin ferry operates up to 18 times a day on the 30-minute route between Skopun and Gamlaraett. It can carry up to 270 passengers, 32 cars and cargo such as fish; around 210,000 commuters and tourists use the ferry each year. The average monthly temperatures range from around 13oC (55oF) in July to 2oC (35oF) in December, but the islands’ exposed position in the North Atlantic means that winds can increase from 10 mph to 40 mph in just a few minutes.

The ferry had previously run on three gensets by a different supplier, but the transport authority chose to install five Volvo Penta units to provide more power overall and better redundancy. Since the repowering in 2012, the gensets have been in operation for around 20,000 hours each without failure, and have cut fuel usage by 22 per cent.

“We can run these gensets for a long time before they need an overhaul,” says Abrahamsen. “Whereas previously we had to change the oil every 500 hours, it’s now only every 1,000 hours. And saving fuel is excellent for our operational costs and reducing emissions.”


Island-hopping ferry sees reduced fuel costs thanks to Volvo Penta gensets

Long-standing relationship

Volvo Penta’s D16 MG marine gensets provide prime power of up to 420 kWe at 50 hz and 478 kWe at 60 hz. The company also supplied one D7A TA genset for emergency and harbor power for the Teistin.

“Strandfaraskip Landsins has been using Volvo Penta engines for more than 50 years, so we have a very good relationship with them,” says Birgir Johannesen, from Bátatænastan, the Volvo Penta dealer in the Faroe Islands.

“The reduction in fuel consumption on the Teistin has been amazing,” says Par Jonsson, senior sales area manager at Volvo Penta. “The fact that our gensets can take a high backpressure meant that a rebuild of the existing exhaust system was not needed, which saved the customer a lot of money. Our dealer has done a great job of meeting the customers’ needs.”

Since repowering the Teistin, Volvo Penta has supplied more engines to Strandfaraskip Landsins for its other ferries, and is collaborating on a new-build project.