Siemens solution for Finnish battery powered ferry

MARCH 7, 2016 — Siemens is to provide the complete electro-technical solution for Finland's first battery-powered car ferry.

The vessel was ordered by Finferries from Polish shipbuilder Crist S.A. last year and will start operating in summer 2017 on a 1.6 km route between Nauvo and Parainen in the Turku Archipelago. It will be approximately 90 m long by 16 m wide with capacity for a maximum of 90 cars.

The ferry will be equipped with the Siemens BlueDrive PlusC electric propulsion system  It includes an energy storage system, variablespeed drive technology for the propellers and an integrated alarm and monitoring system. The complete electro-technical solution includes the EcoMain remote access monitoring system. Siemens will also be supplying a WiFi solution to connect with the shore-based charging stations controlled by the ferry's energy management system in order to secure automated fast charging.

The ship's energy storage system is charged at each side of the crossing, with a shore connection to the local grid. Because of the harsh winter conditions in Finland, the ferry will have the possibility to utilize a diesel engine to support the onboard batteries, which will serve as an extra boost when breaking and traveling through ice. The ferry is then operated as a plug-in hybrid vehicle.

Siemens has based its solution for the FinFerries vessel based on experience gained with the world's first battery-powered car ferry, Ampere, which went into operation in Norway in May 2015, and has now traveled a distance equivalent to more than 1.5 times around the equator. It uses only 150 kilowatt hours (kWh) per route, and with the change from diesel propulsion to battery, ship owner Norled has reduced the cost of fuel by 60 percent.

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