“That was our hobby which turned into big challenge”, said Tomas Žapnickas and Evaldas Narušis, founders of the public institution Green Vessels, who got acquainted in the KU Ship Design graduate studies and decided to work together. In mid-May, they won the funding for the designed power-driven vessel – 150, 000 euros – and are ready to work with all their might.
Significant Acquaintanceship in the Study Years
“From the very childhood, I spent a lot of time on the water. For several years, in the season I worked as a captain of a recreational vessel and organised trips to the Nemunas Delta and the Curonian Lagoon. Maybe that’s why I decided on the ship engineering studies. After graduation from the undergraduate studies, I decided to deepen my knowledge of the master’s studies; that’s how I met my colleague Tomas”, shared his memories E. Narušis, hydrographer and engineer of KU Open Access Centre for Marine Research. During the studies, the two young men designed an autonomous, electric-powered robot UBASUV which measured the depth of shallow waters. “We realised that we can work together, we are a great team, so we decided not to lose it and, after graduating from the studies, to continue our joint work”, added T. Žapnickas, captain’s assistant of the research vessel Mintis.
150,000 euros for Building a Power-Driven Vessel
“In the spring of the last year, we founded a company, rented a hangar, bought an old ship’s hull, and started implementing our ideas,” said E. Narušis. The researchers, together with Klaipėda University, submitted a project application to the Interreg V-A Southeastern Baltic Cross Border Cooperation Program and won the funding for the development of an electric boat. This program targets the promotion of electric ships in the Baltic Sea Region.
“One of our goals is to demonstrate the advantages of these ships compared to ones powered by internal combustion engines. In addition to the power plant, modern information technologies will be used to observe the parameters of the vessel and to accumulate those observations, and to plan the ship’s journey and the load”, said T. Žapnickas. According to the scientist, electric vehicles are technically more comfortable: less noise; since there is no oil and fuel – cleaner air and the vessel itself; simpler maintenance compared to diesel and petrol engines, and the ship is more dynamic throughout the engine range.
“Building of electric ships is not a new thing, it’s been in the market for a long time, but compared to ships powered by internal combustion engines, electric ships still represent a small part of the fleet”, noted T. Žapnickas, captain’s assistant of the KU research vessel Mintis.
“The first stage of the project is coming to an end: repair works of the old rescue ship hull are almost completed. In the second stage, a superstructure will be formed, and the deck and internal equipment will be installed. In parallel, works of the third stage – the installation of a power plant and its systems – will take place. The final stage is testing and demonstration sailing”, KU alumnus E. Narušis commented on the process of the project and added that, in accordance with the plan, in two and a half years they will introduce their own electric ship to the public. The scientists are going to use the new ship to organise waterway trips and to introduce people to the electrification of ships. “This should be an attractive form of education for everyone. We will share the accumulated information with other shipowners, hoping for a breakthrough of such ships in the future”, shared his plans E. Narušis.
Those willing to contribute to the project implemetation, please contact: