We’re all heard of plug-in hybrid cars, but what about a plug-in hybrid ship? The University of Victoria is retrofitting what is being called the world’s first plug-in hybrid green ship. The ship is powered by electricity, hydrogen fuel cells and low-emission diesel fuel.
The green ship technology was created by the University of Victoria’s green transportation research team and British Columbia’s marine engineering and alternative power sectors. The ship, a former Canadian Coast Guard vessel named Tsekoa II, will be used to conduct coastal research on changing ocean ecosystems, coastal marine resources and continental shelf dynamics.
Funding to complete the green retrofit came, in part, from a recently announced $1.19 million federal grant by Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification. It follows up on funding we reported on back in January. Updates to the ship will include a science lab and room for 15 crew members and scientists, A-frames and cranes for deploying plankton nets and multi-beam sonar capable of mapping the ocean floor. The ship will launch, with a new name after the retrofit is completed.
The ship’s green technology will reduce carbon emissions, enhance the ship’s fuel efficiency and provide high-quality electric power to the research equipment on-board. It will also permit research of marine mammals and their sounds, without the need of power from noisy diesel engines.