Sabrina Brennan aboard the Taurus ferry
The Taurus - a high-speed, environmentally friendly ferry - is a recent addition to the growing Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA) fleet.
WETA mandated that their new passenger ferries integrate as much green technology as possible and that emissions be 85% cleaner than the current EPA emission standards for Tier II (2007) marine engines. They started with a sleek, low wake 118’ catamaran hull, designed by Incat Crowther of Australia, to minimize shore erosion from wake and reduce fuel consumption.
The vessels are powered by a pair of Tier II compliant, MTU 16V2000, 1410 HP Diesel engines with Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) systems from Engine, Fuel & Emissions Engineering of California. SCR, current state-of-the-art technology for diesel emissions reduction, injects urea into the exhaust before it passes through a precious-metal catalyst, converting nitrogen oxide –a toxic greenhouse gas- into harmless nitrogen and water.
Using a biodiesel/ultra-low sulfur diesel blend in conjunction with SCR, these ferries exceed Tier II requirements by more than 85% in trials and by 90-95% in actual operation.
In addition to minimal shore impact and low emissions, the passenger ferries showcase several additional green features:
- Custom exhaust systems minimize noise pollution on ship and shore.
- Solar panels augment the electrical system
- Sonar system allows the captain to detect and avoid whales and debris
- Room for 34 bikes
- Operates on a blend of biodiesel and ultra low sulfur diesel fuel
- Two ADA compliant restrooms