ABB powers tourists to Niagara Falls

Maid of the Mist vessel Each of the Maid of the Mist vessels will be powered by a pair of battery packs. Credit: Maid of the Mist Corp.

Niagara Falls tour operator Maid of the Mist has ordered the first US-built all-electric, emissions-free vessels, enabled by ABB’s technology.

Each of the vessels will be powered by a pair of battery packs with a total capacity of 316kWh, split evenly between two catamaran hulls. The two fully independent power systems onboard will increase the resilience of operations by creating a redundancy. Use of the batteries will cut engine noise, vibration and exhaust fumes.

The power setup will be controlled by ABB’s integrated Power and Energy Management System (PEMS), which will optimise energy use onboard.

“We are thrilled to be the USA’s first vessel owner to add all-electric ferries to our fleet,” said Christopher M. Glynn, president of Maid of the Mist Corp.

Quick charging

Charging will take place between every trip while passengers disembark and board. Shoreside charging will only take seven minutes, allowing the batteries to power the electric propulsion motors capable of a total 400kW output.

The batteries will be charged using hydropower - the largest single renewable energy source for electricity generation in the US.

In addition to integrating the ship-to-shore battery charging connection, ABB will supply the project with switchboards, drives and the integrated control system, as well as the ABB Ability Marine Remote Diagnostic System for remote equipment monitoring and predictive maintenance.

By Rebecca Jeffrey

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