New ferry features Danfoss hybrid electric drivetrain

Written by Nick Blenkey
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The new Thyborøn-Agger ferry has a capacity for 22 vehicles

Danfoss Editron has provided the hybrid electric drivetrain system powering a new ferry connecting the communities of Thyborøn and Agger in north west Denmark.

The ferry, which was delivered by the Søby Værft shipyard, was ordered to replace a vessel that had been in service for over 40 years and had reached the end of its operational lifetime.

The ferry operates over a relatively short distance, making multiple 12 minute crossings daily. This operational profile made the new ferry a suitable candidate for hybrid electric propulsion, with the savings in operating costs being sufficient to cover, and eventually exceed, the initial investment expenditure.

The new Thyborøn-Agger ferry has a capacity for 22 vehicles and is anticipated to transport 5,000 trucks, 50,000 passenger vehicles and 140,000 passengers annually.

It is equipped with a Danfoss Editron serial hybrid drivetrain system comprising two 374 kW redundant propulsion lines. The Editron system consists of two 374 kW electric propulsion motors, two 323 kW diesel engines, two electric generators mounted onto the diesel engines and two 75 kVA hotel load outlets for alternate current consumers. It also features two 78
kWh battery packs for energy storage, a 45 kVA shore charging connection and two compact direct current panels including power management system controllers, as well as connections for both energy providers and consumers.

The system uses synchronous reluctance assisted permanent magnet technology and is engineered to function in harsh conditions, such as the choppy North Sea waters where the Thyborøn-Agger ferry operates.

It is also half the size of conventional, diesel-electric propulsion systems, making it the most compact and lightweight available on the market. The Editron software also cuts fuel and running costs, resulting in significantly reduced CO2 emissions and payback period.

“Danfoss Editron’s system was smaller and lighter than other products by a weight equal to four cars, meaning it was the perfect choice to be used in our new hybrid electric ferry,” said
Kim Raabjerg Korshøj, Crossing Leader of the Thyborøn-Agger ferry. “The space savings and high efficiencies mean that, even though the new ferry is larger than the old one, it is expected to have a lower operational cost per crossing due to the savings in fuel and the reduced maintenance needs.”

Siebe de Vries, Danfoss Editron’s Marine Operations Manager, noted that the Danish government has lowered the cost of electricity for ferries such as the Thyborøn-Agger service by the Danish government.

“This means that in the future the energy storage on board could be expanded so the ferry operates on even more batteries, reducing the use of gensets,” he said. “Our Editron system is easily adaptable for such future optimisation and is even capable of being converted to a fully-electric vessel if required.”

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