JANUARY 25, 2016 — Wärtsilä and Lugano, Switzerland, headquartered Cavotec SA have signed an agreement to jointly develop the world's first combined induction charging and automatic mooring concept.
Wärtsilä has developed a wireless charging system based on inductive power transfer. Cavotec provides automated mooring systems for various types of vessels, as well as shore power and reel systems. By combining the strengths and expertise of the two companies, an integrated wireless charging/mooring concept is to be developed for use in Wärtsilä's ship designs.
Wireless charging eliminates the cable connection between the vessel and shore, securing and facilitating safe connections and disconnections. It also reduces maintenance since wear and tear to physical connection lines is eliminated. Damage to electrical outlets caused by seawater, snow and ice is also avoided.
The new project's integrated system will be capable of transferring more than 1 MW of electrical energy. This is some 300 times more than that of current chargers used by electric cars.
Vacuum pads connect the charging station to the vessel
Cavotec's mooring system is a vacuum-based automated mooring technology that eliminates the need for conventional mooring lines. Remote controlled vacuum pads recessed into, or mounted on the quayside, moor and release vessels in seconds.
"During recent years, wireless charging has been introduced for cars, buses and trains. Wärtsilä has now made this possible also for marine vessels. This agreement with Cavotec will enable this technology to be delivered as an integrated charging and mooring system," says Peter Rogers, Director Power Products, Wärtsilä Marine Solutions.
"This is an exciting project and we are delighted to be partnering with Wärtsilä to make shipping cleaner, safer, and easier. The envisioned integrated wireless charging and mooring system will further the marine industry's environmental profile," says Ottonel Popesco, CEO of Cavotec Group.
The environmental challenge has been the starting point for Wärtsilä's work in developing battery/hybrid technology for marine vessels. By making wireless charging of ship batteries possible, the electrification of coastal shipping is enhanced, resulting in major reductions in harmful exhaust emissions. Wärtsilä has already launched an innovative ferry concept featuring wireless induction battery charging (see earlier story).
In 2015 Cavotec completed installation of the world's first combined automated mooring and shore power system in Norway, servicing Norled's fully battery powered ferries (see earlier story). Featuring integrated MoorMaster automated mooring and Alternative Maritime Power electrical supply systems the project demonstrates Cavotec's capacity for innovation, underlining its ability to offer integrated systems that maximise efficiency and environmental performance.
A pier mounted charging station provides safe and secure connections