The River Seine turns green

The River Seine turns green

Oct. 11 2022 - 3 min

The opening ceremony of the 2024 Olympic Games will take place on 26 July 2024 on the River Seine in Paris watched by more than half a million of spectators.

The event will be an opportunity to showcase the inland navigation sector, particularly given Europe’s future modal shift to domestic waterborne transport.

An urban logistics chain

The ceremony will offer the occasion to highlight the country’s fluvial network and how it can be used to create a modern urban logistics chain that is both efficient and, importantly, sustainable.

The River Seine is already in the process of ‘turning green’, with many vessel operators considering innovative decarbonized propulsion modes.

Going green for the Games

One of the leaders in this drive is ferry operator Vedettes de Paris, created in 1976, which has already decided to convert its fleet to electrical propulsion in anticipation of the Games.

The first unit to undergo conversion will be the company’s “Paris Trocadero”, a 30-metre 250-passenger vessel built in 2007 and certified for day cruises.

The “Paris Trocadero” will be converted from diesel engines to battery propulsion system.

The vessel, which has a draught of 1.35 m, will return to service by the end of the year to resume its 7-9 daily trips along the Seine under electric power.

Rapid recharge

One round trip for the vessels takes on average one hour and the consumed energy ranges from 110 kWh to 150 kWh depending on the seasonal conditions.

Between two trips, the vessel can be moored and partially recharged in 20 minutes. Alternately it can undergo a complete recharging between two days of operation in nine or eleven hours.

The mooring pontoons will be fitted with four stations, with the power for each set at up to 180 kW. Electrical energy is stored by two independent battery packs using LiFePo technology (lithium-iron-phosphate) with a nominal DC bus voltage of around 640 V.

Autonomous operation

Electrical distribution is ensured via two separate networks, on the port and starboard sides. Whatever failure may occur on one side, there will be no harmful effect on the propulsion and steering gear on the opposite side, providing total autonomy.

Each propulsion system includes a 400 V permanent magnet synchronous three-phase linear motor, offering 140 kW at 360 rpm.

While navigating, each battery pack supplies its own propulsion engine, steering gear, ventilation, and the main switchboard 230/400 V. The latter is supplied by each group with again no interference from the other side.

Inbuilt fire-fighting systems

Each battery compartment is A60-insulated and fitted with fire detection and fire-fighting systems.

The complete BV-certified installation will comply with the European standard ES-TRIN 2021, and refer also to EN 62619 and EN 62620.

Bureau Veritas has worked side by side with Vedettes de Paris on this important addition to the River Seine transport network.

Our expertise and guidance are available to support companies meet the right technical, safety and regulatory standards in the energy transition, as companies increasingly move towards electric propulsion.