ABB informs it will supply the complete power and propulsion systems for two HH Ferries Group vessels to become the world´s largest emission-free electric ferries. The modernizations utilize turnkey ABB solutions including batteries, an energy storage control system and Onboard DC Grid technology. At both ends of the route ABB will supply the first automated shore-side charging stations using an ABB industrial robot, to optimize the connection time and therefore maximize the charging period.
The two ferries, Tycho Brahe and Aurora, will operate completely on battery power between Helsingør, Denmark and Helsingborg, Sweden – a distance of approximately 4 kilometers – carrying more than 7.4 million passengers and 1.9 million vehicles annually. The new battery solution will help lower total emissions across the fleet by more than 50 percent from the current diesel operated vessels, ABB said. The combined battery power of 8,320 kWh for the two ferries is the equivalent of 10,700 car batteries.
Introduced in 2001, ABB’s IRB 7600, with its proven track record, is being used as part of the new charging station technology. All pre-docking procedures are based on 3D laser scanning and wireless communication between ship and shore. During the last 400 mm of the ferry’s approach the robot will reach out and pull the shore cable from the ship. The cable reel releases the cable and the robot moves the connectors to the corresponding connectors below the robot. After the connection is made, the robot moves back to the home-position and the roll-up doors closes. The robot will reside inside its own building when not in use.
“This order goes to the very core of what we do at ABB,” said Juha Koskela, Managing Director of ABB’s Marine and Ports business unit. “These are highly innovative solutions in line with our Next Level strategy, improving the efficiency while lowering the environmental impact.”
According to ABB, the order is another milestone in the maritime passenger segment for the company.
“The ferry services across Scandinavia and the Nordic region are leading the world in terms of progressive environmentally friendly solutions. ABB is at the forefront of this revolution,” Koskela said.
It is an inherent part of HH Ferries’ strategy to actively safeguard the environment, and the ferry company has adhered to emission regulations since 2007, which were later implemented in 2015.
“Together with ABB and with proven technology and in an innovative way, have been able to create a new set up to retain our position as a highly efficient high capacity route,” said Chief Executive Officer Henrik Rørbæk, HH Ferries Group. “From an environmental point, we invest responsibly in tomorrow’s technology solutions leading towards a greener future.”
The investment is co-financed by INEA, the EU’s executive agency for innovation and network.