The largest emission-free ferries in the world have been officially welcomed into service after guests boarded Tycho Brahe in Helsingborg, Sweden and Aurora in Helsingør, Denmark on November 9 for a special inauguration ceremony marking completion of the all-electric conversions. Tycho Brahe and Aurora have been converted from conventional diesel engine operations to battery power at Öresund DryDocks, as part of operator ForSeas (formerly HH Ferries Group) strategy to reduce the environmental footprint along the 4km (2.5-mile) route between Sweden and Denmark. The vessels operate on a high-intensity ferry route that transfers over 7.4 million passengers and 1.9 million vehicles between urban port terminals. The conversion of these over 100m-long (328ft) ferries, both built in 1991, required installation of a 4,160kWh battery system on each vessel, as well as battery racks, energy storage control systems and ABBs Onboard DC Grid power distribution technology. Additionally, ABB supplied automated shore-side charging stations using an industrial robot to optimize the connection time and maximize the charging period, leveraging 3D laser scanning and wireless communication between ship and shore. We are delighted that the entire system is in place to support the emissions-free operations we envisaged from the outset, said Johan Röstin, CEO, ForSea. This is a truly groundbreaking project and the work we have done with ABB will offer invaluable lessons for those following our lead. In shipping, innovation takes time and patience, and we always kept sight of the environmental benefits at stake. INEA, the European Unions executive agency for innovation and networks, has supported the project.
Dean has been with UKi Media & Events for over a decade, having previously cut his journalistic teeth writing and editing for various automotive and engineering titles. He combines extensive knowledge of all things automotive with a passion for driving, and experience testing countless new vehicles, engines and technologies around the world. As well as his role as editor-in-chief across a range of UKi's media titles, he is also co-chair of the judging panel of the International Engine of the Year Awards.