Danfoss drivetrain picked to power Electra electric ferry

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Electra will have 100 nautical mile range and a cruising speed of 40 knots

Alameda, Calif.-based marine technology startup Boundary Layer Technologies has signed a letter of intent (LOI) with Danfoss’ Editron division for the electrical drivetrain system that will power its hydrofoiling electric ferry (e-ferry), Electra.

Boundary Layer Technologies unveiled the Electra concept in October last year. The ferry is designed to have a range of up to 100 nautical miles and a cruising speed of 40 knots.

“Danfoss’ experience as a world leader and trusted partner for several electric ferry projects around the world will help us accelerate the delivery of Electra.” says Ed Kearney, CEO of Boundary Layer Technologies. “We are incredibly excited to be embarking on this journey towards maritime decarbonization together”

“The combination of Danfoss’ Editron division electrical drivetrain system and BLT’s hydrofoiling technology will enable a new class of electric ferries further driving decarbonization of the maritime industry,” says Mike Shafar, Danfoss’ Editron division’s NAM senior sales development manager for marine. “It’s an honor to be selected to partner with Boundary Layer Technologies on Electra. An all-electric ferry utilizing hydrofoiling technology to increase propulsion efficiency and eliminate emissions is a harmonious blend of functionality and sustainability.”

Electra will utilize the Editron Marine System, which is a complete DC-based power plant and propulsion system specifically designed for marine vessels. This includes DC-distribution, electric power generation, energy storage utilization, propulsion and thruster drivetrains, and overall control and monitoring of the system. The system will be coupled with BLT’s proprietary podded z-drive propulsion system.

For Electra, the lightweight EC-C1200-450 inverters will be utilized for propulsion and DC-DC conversion, along with AC inversion for hotel loads, being supplied by ELECTRA’s 700-volt, 6000 kWh lithium ion battery. Electra will also be using a pair of 1.25 MW EM-PMI-540-T4000 propulsive motors, which utilize synchronous reluctance assisted permanent magnet (SRPM) technology to reduce weight and improve power density.

“We’re most excited by the lightweight design and small size of these drives, says Jeremy Osborne, CTO of Boundary Layer Technologies. ”They are world-class and enable us to offer a longer range and better reliability.”

Boundary Layer Technologies expects to deliver the first Electras to customers by Q1 2024 in markets including the United States, Scandinavia, and the Mediterranean.

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