Largest battery conversion ferries in service

 'Aurora' The ForSea 'Tycho Brah'e and 'Aurora' (pictured) passenger ferries now feature 4160kWh batteries. Credit: ForSea
Industry Database

The business formerly known as HH Ferries Group has completed converting what are believed to be the world’s largest emissions-free battery ferries, powered by ABB.

The ForSea Tycho Brahe and Aurora passenger ferries, built in 1991 and measuring over 100m long, were converted from conventional diesel to battery powered at Öresund Dry Docks in Sweden. This required installation of a 4160kWh battery on each vessel, as well as battery racks, energy storage control systems and ABB’s Onboard DC Grid power distribution technology.

“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 of ForSea, which changed its name this month.

Shoreside charging

ABB also supplied automated shoreside charging stations using an industrial robot to optimise the connection time and maximise the charging period, leveraging 3D laser scanning and wireless communication between ship and shore.

The conversion is part of ForSea’s strategy to reduce the environmental footprint along the 4km route between Sweden and Denmark, where the ferries are now operating.

“This project signals a profound shift for the maritime industry, and shows a path towards zero-emission operations, aligned with International Maritime Organization’s goals for decarbonization,” said Marcus Högblom, head of passenger, dry cargo and ice segment at ABB Marine & Ports.

INEA, the European Union’s executive agency for innovation and network, supported the project.

By Rebecca Jeffrey

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