ABB to supply power system for hybrid ferry

Written by Nick Blenkey
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APRIL 15, 2015 — ABB is to supply the power system for a hybrid car ferry serving an important passenger route in Norway. Designed with flexibility in mind, the vessel will run as a hybrid but can be modified to run as a full electric ferry with shore charging system.

ABB’s power system is part of the total electric system, which is being supplied by Acel SA, for the MM63 ferry being built for Torghatten Trafikkselskap AS.

Designed by Multi Maritime, it will be built by the Fiskarstrand shipyard in western Norway and will have a capacity of 60 cars and 250 passengers.

“This is another example of how ABB is at the forefront of energy storage solutions for the maritime industry,” says Sindre Sætre, ABB’s Director of Marine and Ports in Norway. “Ship and ferry owners across the Nordic region and Scandinavia realize ABB has flexible power systems for electric vessels.”

The news comes only months after ABB secured the order to supply the power system for the  Seasight battery sightseeing ferry, which will serve the UNESCO listed Nærøyfjord.

The centerpiece of ABB’s scope of supply is the Onboard DC Grid system, a modular electrical system platform that makes use of direct current to connect energy sources with consumers. This greatly simplifies the integration of energy storage, in this case two 270 kWh battery packs, and allows the engines to operate more efficiently at variable speed. This helps create significant energy and emissions savings. The batteries will be used for “peak shaving”, meaning the batteries will help meet the power demand, thus allowing the generators to work at a more optimal level.

The owner will have the option of adding another sixteen battery packs and a shore connection in order to operate the vessel fully electric.

“Energy storage has been one of the most important areas of focus for our research and development team,” said Juha Koskela, Managing Director of ABB’s Marine and Ports. “We recognize batteries have an important role to play on a range of vessels and is technology for the present as well as the future.”

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