Vessels for the Future: ReVolt

(With videos and extra pictures) One of the Europort masterclasses will focus on "Vessels for the Future" and one of the concepts to be discussed is DNV GL's unmanned, zero-emission shortsea vessel concept ReVolt.

In SWZ Maritime's October issue, Antoon Oosting gave an overview of the conference programme at Europort. New this year are the Europort masterclasses organised by Ahoy and Netherlands Maritime Technology centred around the following topics:

  • "Vessels for the Future" (3 November),
  • "Autonomy in Shipping; Onshore in Control" (4 November),
  • "The Fourth Industrial Revolution: Automation in Manufacturing" (4 November),
  • "Condition Based Maintenance, towards Zero Down Time" (5 November),
  • "Fuel Strategy, a long term perspective" (5 November), and
  • "Attracting and Retaining the Talent Your Company Needs" (6 November).

Something that will definitely be on the agenda at the "Vessels for the Future" masterclass are the unmanned vessel concepts, such as DNV GL's ReVolt.


The ReVolt is a concept for an unmanned, zero-emission, shortsea vessel. It is 60 metres long and is fully battery powered and autonomous – it requires no crew.

The innovative ship concept is the result of a multi-disciplinary, team-based development project at DNV GL supported by Transnova, Norway, and is based on an assessment of current requirements along short-sea routes. The vessel will operate at a speed of 6 knots with a range of 100 nautical miles and a cargo capacity of 100 twentyfoot containers.

With no crew, there is no need for crew facilities such as the vessel's superstructure. The resulting increase in loading capacity and low operating and maintenance costs mean that, compared to a diesel-run ship, the ReVolt could save up to USD 34 million during its estimated thirty-year lifetime – saving more than a million USD annually.


The ReVolt is a vision for the future and will not be built until several of the technologies involved have matured. However, it could conceivably be built and operated using current technology. It is intended to serve as an inspiration for equipment manufacturers, shipyards and shipowners as they endeavour to develop new solutions for a safer and more sustainable future.

The ReVolt was initiated as a research project in August 2013 and launched externally a year later.

Next Steps

It will continue – and be extended to involve land-based charging facilities and capacities – as a research project within DNV GL. For the purpose of testing the autonomous capabilities of ReVolt, a 1:20 scaled model has been built. Through collaboration with the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), this model will serve as test bench in researching sensor fusion and collision avoidance for autonomous surface vehicles. This competence project will run for three years from Q3 2015.

Download an article on the ReVolt from DNV GL's Maritime Impact Magazine (issue 02-14).

Below you will find two videos on the concept (one short and one long) kindly supplied by DNV GL as well as some extra pictures (care of DNV GL, ©Toftenes Multivisjon). Please click the pop-out link to view them in their proper dimensions.

Author: Mariska Buitendijk

Mariska Buitendijk is one of SWZ|Maritime's journalists as well as the magazine's copy editor.

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