Published: 2019-02-19

ABB to furnish Iceland's new e-ferry

Technology ABB to furnish Iceland's new e-ferry

Photo: Polarkonsult

The Swedish-Swiss company will supply integrated power and electric storage solutions to the Icelandic Road and Coastal Administration's new vessel.

The 70 m-long ferry, designed by Polarkonsult and due for delivery later this year from the Crist shipyard in Poland, will feature a 3,000 kWh-strong battery pack as well as a diesel-electric generator set. Though the ship is designed to operate in the fully-electric mode for most of the time, the latter will be used to add power during particularly challenging weather conditions while covering the 13 km- and 45 min-long route between Landeyjahöfn on the mainland and the Westman Island.

The scope of the supply deal also includes generators, transformers, switchboards, the Power and Energy Management System (PEMS), and the Energy Storage Control System (ESCS). The ferry will be connected to ABB Ability™ Collaborative Centers Infrastructure, a network that uses remote equipment monitoring and data analytics to enable remote technical support as well as predictive maintenance and planned interventions.

The ferry will also have the ABB's power distribution system Onboard DC Grid™, which will allow the batteries to connect directly to the DC link and by doing so avoid losses of power during charging and discharging.

The Swedish-Swiss company will deliver the onshore power supply system, too, in order to recharge the battery with a power of 2,500 kW. According to ABB, it will on average take about 30 minutes to recharge.

The newbuild, offering space for up to 550 passengers and 75 cars, will replace the 1992-built Herjólfur, which during rough weather had to travel to an alternative harbour to berth safely, extending the sailing time from 45 minutes to close to 3 hours (the new ferry will be able to enter the destination harbour in challenging weather conditions most of the time, with the rare exception of particularly rough seas).

"Opting for ABB's electric solutions allows the vessel to meet design constraints that initially seem in conflict: it is optimized for cleaner operation and reduced greenhouse gas emissions, whilst power is sufficient to navigate some very hazardous waters safely," Sigurdur Gretarsson, Director, Maritime Division, Icelandic Road and Coastal Administration, said.

Juha Koskela, Managing Director, ABB Marine & Ports, added, "Selection of ABB's technologies for a vessel operating on such a tough route, where the water depth is sometimes limited to 4.5 meters, but wave heights can reach 3.5 meters, sets a new benchmark for battery power on board a ship. In line with our vision for electric, digital and connected shipping, this project demonstrates how system integration - whether on board the ship or between the ship's crew and shoreside expertise - is a key success factor for vessel management."

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