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Author Topic: Electric ferries  (Read 1396 times)
Red Squirrel
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« on: May 14, 2019, 11:08:54 am »

This video on the 'Fully Charged' channel drew my attention to what turns out to be a fairly old piece of news, but hopefully interesting nonetheless:

ForSea (formerly HH Ferries Group) completes conversion of the world’s largest battery ferries, powered by ABB

Inauguration of Tycho Brahe and Aurora marks successful completion of a high-profile conversion project with ABB’s technology at its heart.

The largest emission-free ferries in the world have been officially welcomed into service after guests boarded Tycho Brahe in Helsingborg, Sweden and Helsingør, Denmark on November 9 for a special inauguration ceremony marking completion of an all-electric conversion.

“We are delighted that the entire system is in place to support the emissions-free operations we envisaged from the outset,” said Johan Röstin, CEO, ForSea. “This is a truly groundbreaking project and the work we have done with ABB will offer invaluable lessons for those following our lead. In shipping, innovation takes time and patience, and we always kept sight of the environmental benefits at stake.”

“This project signals a profound shift for the maritime industry, and shows a path towards zero-emission operations, aligned with International Maritime Organization’s goals for decarbonization,” said Marcus Högblom, Head of Passenger, Dry Cargo and Ice Segment, ABB Marine & Ports. “We congratulate ForSea on the inauguration of these vessels, and we are proud to have worked closely with them to deliver this pioneering solution.”

Source: ABB

Full article:


Rain falls upon the Easter Tree, the squirrel shakes his head And shivers in his red and sodden fur...
Transport Scholar
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« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2019, 12:04:54 pm »

Here's something that explains how the magic is done - from
The Swedish HH Ferries Group has launched two fully electric ferries named Aurora and Tycho Brahe on the stretch between Helsingborg (Sweden) and Heldingör (Denmark). Furthermore, they renamed themselves ForSea Ferries.

The ocean straight between Helsingborg and Helsingör can be crossed in about 20 minutes with the ferries. The route is run every fifteen minutes, 24 hours a day. At each of the docks on either side of the Öresund a fully automated robot arm helps charge the ferries during loading and unloading times; a process that is supposed to take between five and nine minutes.

On board of each of the electric ferries are a total of 640 batteries, weighing about 90 kg each. They are placed in four containers between the smoke stacks on the upper decks, and yield a total capacity of 4,160 kWh, which adds a considerable 280 tonnes the ship’s weight. Each crossing takes about 1,175 kWh, according to the operators, which means that there is a comfortable buffer between battery capacity and energy requirements. As the ferries will also keep the “old” diesel engines on board, the ships would be able to switch to combustion or hybrid propulsion in an emergency. The batteries can also be charged from the on-board diesel motors.

The budget for the project has cost HH Ferries, or ForSea, as they are now named, a total of 300 million Swedish crowns, or about 29 million euros. The EU contributed about 11.5 million euros for the project. According to the operators, the new ferries will allow them to cut emissions down by about 65%. This will help Sweden’s long term goal of becoming climate neutral by 2045, meaning they plan to be mathematically emissions-free.

So this may - perhaps - be the near future of 4 km crossings, but longer may take a bit longer.
Data Manager
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« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2019, 03:01:00 pm »

Don't think they will be suitable replacements for our unreliable chain ferries.
Transport Scholar
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« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2019, 09:18:00 am »

Excellent news IMHO, electric power is the future and should be used wherever suitable.

I suspect that we will see an electric cross channel ferry within 10 years. Electricity is often used very wastefully on board ship and a limited supply from a battery might lead to more prudent use.

One caveat with electric ferries is the very substantial electrical input required to charge them in a reasonable time, more so if fast charging is contemplated.
With a ferry that runs between say England and France, fast charging at either end of the route should be easily achieved. If however a ferry runs between a small island and a mainland, then the island might not have sufficient electricity available for charging the ferry.
A larger battery that can complete the round trip is then required.

A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
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