The HH Ferries Group has decided to convert two of its ferries, Tycho Brahe and Aurora, from diesel to battery operation as part of the company’s environmental strategy. The conversion will use ABB’s 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 industrial robot.
Before the end of 2017, batteries providing forward propulsion will be installed on the two ferries which operate between Helsingør (Denmark) and Helsingborg (Sweden), a distance of approximately 4 km carrying more than 7.4 Million passengers and 1.9 million vehicles annually. According to the company, the initiative will lower total emissions by more than 50%, improving the regional environment. The combined battery power of 8,320 kWh for the two ferries is the equivalent of 10,700 car batteries. As well as reduced emissions, conversion to battery power will reduce noise levels.
HH Ferries will be one of the first companies in the world to convert to 100% battery power for such large vessels. Following the conversion, the vessels’ time in port and crossing time will remain unchanged compared to today, and they will be charged at each port stay with electricity supplied from newly built charging stations. 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.
The initial modifications of the vessels will be undertaken in the autumn of 2016, and the installation of batteries will take place in 2017. The conversion project will be completed in collaboration with ABB Marine and Ports, Finland, Forsyning Helsingør and Öresundskraft.