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

Emissions, Environment, Marine Equipment Products and Services, Ship Conversions, Technology — By on November 14, 2018 at 11:47 AM

Aurora electric ferry in open water. Image courtesy of ForSea

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.”

Aurora electric ferry. Image courtesy of ForSea

“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.”

Tycho Brahe and Aurora have been converted from conventional diesel engine operations to battery power at Öresund Dry Docks, as part of ForSea’s strategy to reduce the environmental footprint along the 4km route between Sweden and Denmark. The vessels operate on a high intensity ferry route that transfers over 7.4 million passengers and 1.9 million vehicles between urban port terminals in Denmark and Sweden.

Battery power on board Tycho Brache Image courtesy of ForSea

The conversion of these over 100-meter ferries, both built in 1991, required installation of a 4160 kWh battery on each vessel, as well as battery racks, energy storage control systems and ABB’s award-winning Onboard DC Grid™ power distribution technology.

Additionally, ABB supplied automated shore-side charging stations using an industrial robot to optimize the connection time and maximize the charging period, leveraging 3D laser scanning and wireless communication between ship and shore.

“This is a landmark project, and we are convinced it will come to be seen as a critical step in shipping’s environmental revolution, as well as a milestone in rolling out ABB’s ‘Electric, Digital, Connected’ strategy for shipping,” said Marcus Högblom, ABB Marine & Ports.

Shore-charging station. Image courtesy of ForSea

INEA, the European Union’s executive agency for innovation and network, has supported the project.

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