The conversion of the 386tonne, 450-passenger and car ferry, owned and operated by Gestione Navigazione Laghi, will allow the vessel to operate in hybrid and zero emission modes, helping increase its overall energy efficiency.
Currently powered by a pair of 310kW diesel main engines driving twin shaft lines propellers, the modernisation will see the vessel fitted with ABB’s battery and energy storage control system. Additional operational efficiencies will include reducing the shaftline components and basing the new propulsion solution on a direct shaft line at both ends of the vessel.
Once the conversion is complete, the controllable pitch propellers will be replaced with a simpler, more efficient fixed pitch propellers that will help improve the overall fuel economy of the ferry. Overall, the Swiss-Swedish tech company will provide new propulsion motors, diesel-generator sets, transformers and switchboards.
“The San Cristoforo conversion is a milestone project for ABB as it underpins our capability to modernise ships of any age, size and type so that they can take advantage of the efficiency benefits of hybrid operation,” said Jyri Jusslin, head of Global Service at ABB Marine & Ports.
The project also marks the debut order for ABB’s recently launched Onboard Microgrid, a compact DC grid platform to help smaller vessels optimize their fuel efficiency by making the best use of available power. Onboard Microgrid will allow the vessel to optimize energy efficiency by pooling hotel and propulsion power sources via a DC-link, so that generator sets or batteries can be called on based on user needs, in either diesel, hybrid or electric modes.
The vessel, which sails in Lake Maggiore, is expected to benefit from less onboard vibration, noise and exhaust fumes following the retrofit.