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DNV GL debuts ReVolt unmanned, battery-powered vessel design

DNV GL has developed the “ReVolt” concept, an unmanned short-sea vessel powered by a 3,000 kWh battery, as a solution to crew fatalities aboard ship.

The vessel would be capable of travelling 100 nm on a full charge, and travelling at an average of 6 knots would allow yards to fit the vessel with a straight vertical bow and reduce water resistance. The vessel would also not require a superstructure, thereby allowing for nearly 100% deck space utilisation.

In a statement, DNV GL cited “one of shipping’s weakest links” – the 900 annual crew fatalities which give shipping a 90% higher mortality rate “than comparable land-based industries”, as well as the need to free up land-based infrastructure, as the driver behind the new design. With the advantages associated with a no-accommodation layout and battery-powered propulsion, as well a greatly-reduced number of moving parts, DNV GL estimates that ReVolt could save up to $34m during its 30-year lifespan, compared with a traditional diesel-powered vessel.

“Building and operating this vessel would be possible with today’s technology. ReVolt is intended to serve as inspiration for equipment makers, shipyards and shipowners to develop new solutions on the path to a safe and sustainable future”, said Hans Anton Tvete, senior researcher at DNV GL.

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