Pioneering technology which delivers fast, eco-friendly charging

The world’s largest battery ferries were inaugurated in 2018 – Tycho Brahe and Aurora from ForSea. This concluded a multi-year project to convert conventional diesel engines to battery power. The new technology cuts emissions by about 65 per cent or the equivalent of 23,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.

Unique solution for the future

Together with ABB, ForSea has developed a unique solution for the future. The conversion of the ferries entailed the installation of a 4,160 kWh battery on each ship. It actually comprised 640 x 6.5 kWh batteries, which were located in containers between the chimneys on the ferries’ roofs. The batteries’ cooling water is also converted here into heating for all the areas on the ferries. The batteries should last for five years and contain the same amount of power as in 70 electric cars. The entire battery installation weighs 270 tonnes and this weight simultaneously gives the ferries better stability with less vibrations on board.

Charging with green electricity

One crossing consumes about 1,175 kWh. This is equivalent to normal monthly consumption for one house. The batteries are charged with green electricity from non-fossil sources such as wind, water and sun. A single charge requires more current than the whole of Helsingör. In order to provide the ferries with the power they need, new 10,000 volt cables have been laid underground in both Helsingborg and Helsingör.

A fully automatic, laser-controlled robot arm plugs the ferries in for charging when they are in port. To maximise the charge, the robot uses 3D laser scanning and wireless communication between ship and land. The entire process takes between 5 and 9 minutes and provides effective charging for a crossing of twenty minutes. It ensures that the ferries will continue to depart frequently and at the scheduled time.