Emission-free tours of Niagara Falls

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A pair of all-electric tour boats have launched to transport passengers on sightseeing tours of Niagara Falls. The zero-emission ferries, named the James V Glynn and the Nikola Tesla, are run by tour operator Maid of the Mist, with power and propulsion system supplied by specialist ABB, including the onshore charging infrastructure.

“Maid of the Mist has always evolved with the technology, and we are thrilled to open a new page in our company’s history, moving our fleet to zero-emission operation,” said Christopher M Glynn, president of Maid of the Mist Corp. “Close collaboration with ABB has been instrumental in making this project a success, and we are proud of what we were able to accomplish together.”

The vessels are each powered by a pair of battery packs providing 316kWh total capacity, divided across the two catamaran hulls, which ABB notes offers a level of redundancy that helps to safeguard operations. The batteries allow the electric propulsion motors to reach a peak output of 400kW, with the power setup controlled by ABB’s Power and Energy Management System. They are charged using locally produced hydroelectricity – ensuring that the energy cycle for the operation of the Maid of the Mist ferries is entirely emission-free – in a process that takes just seven minutes during disembarkation and boarding.

Having installed the ship-to-shore battery charging connection, ABB also supplied the Glynn and the Tesla with a comprehensive suite of electric, digital and connected solutions including switchboards, drives and the integrated control system, in addition to its Ability Marine Remote Diagnostic System for monitoring and predictive maintenance.

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Lawrence has been covering engineering subjects – with a focus on motorsport technology – since 2007 and has edited and contributed to a variety of international titles. Currently, he is responsible for content across UKI Media & Events' portfolio of websites while also writing for the company's print titles.

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