ForSea to upgrade Tycho Brahe with the world’s largest battery pack, extending the vessel lifetime and cutting emissions
The ferry operator will update its ship Tycho Brahe to feature the world’s largest battery pack ever installed on a ferry. Since the initial conversion of 1991-built ferries Tycho Brahe and its sister vessel Aurora from conventional diesel engine operations to battery power in 2018, ForSea reduced its CO2 emissions by 37,000 tons. Increasing the battery capacity on board Tycho Brahe by 50% will enable ForSea to further reduce emissions, benefitting the local environment and passengers.
“The results that we were already able to achieve inspire us to maintain our high goals and to further enhance our position as a first-mover with the world’s largest battery driven, high frequency, ferry route,” said Kristian Durhuus, CEO at ForSea.
The official inauguration of ForSea’s ferries took place in November 2018, marking completion of an all-electric conversion of the world’s largest battery-operated Ro-Pax ferries. To continue meeting the evolving needs of this innovative project, ForSea in close collaboration with technical solution partner ABB, will be updating the energy storage system onboard Tycho Brahe. The upgrade will increase the battery capacity from 4,160 kWh to 6,400 kWh without requiring any additional space on board the vessel.
With this upgrade, ForSea will not only remain the largest high frequency Ro-Pax ferry line powered by electricity, but will also operate a vessel featuring the largest shipboard battery pack in the world. As a result of the upgrade, the energy storage solution will enable ForSea to achieve increasingly sustainable operation over time. The energy storage system upgrade has started in May and will be completed later in 2021.
Operating the ferries Tycho Brahe and Aurora with electrical power reduce total CO2 emission by 65%. This is very close to the 70% target set by the Danish Government, to be completed by 2030. ForSea expects this to be a reality already in 2021.
This proves the advantages of electrical power and enhances its importance for future innovation.
“ForSea has managed a carbon dioxide reduction by 37,000 ton since the start of battery-powered operations in 2018. This equals the total emissions, by all four ferries on the route, during one year of diesel operation. With this reduction as a fact, it’s even more inspirational to go ahead with the battery upgrade project on Tycho Brahe. We will not only be the largest electrically operated ferry route, but also have a vessel in our fleet that features the largest battery pack with the highest capacity. Since the start, ForSea has proven that battery-powered operations are possible on a ferry route like ForSea’s. Today, one of our vessels – Aurora – already sails up to 46 departures per day on 99% electric power. Following the upgrade onboard Tycho Brahe, at full operation both vessels will achieve a total reduction of carbon dioxide in ForSea’s fleet by 65%, a total of 23,000 ton. That would be an incredible result to achieve, and a powerful driver to continue our realistic dream of becoming one of the world’s most climate friendly transportation company,” says Kristian Durhuus, CEO at ForSea.
“We are proud to continue our collaboration with ForSea, together taking the next step in this truly pioneering project of powering ForSea’s fleet into a sustainable future,” said Sami Lehikoinen, Vice President, Service, ABB Marine & Ports. “As the battery technology matures, increasing both the power capacity and lifetime, together with ForSea, we will be able to ensure that Tycho Brahe will continue operating sustainably for the years to come.”
Charging with green electricity
The battery driven ferries have an innovative system, requiring adjustments both on board and on shore. To charge the ferries, a fully automated laser operated robotic arm connects every time the ferries arrive in port, providing enough power to enable the 20-minute crossing. Only green electricity by wind, water and sun is used. Electrical power also substantially reduces noise and vibrations, benefiting for passengers, local citizens and sea life.
- ForSea has the worlds’ largest battery-driven ferries and will in 2021 have the largest battery pack.
- 32% (12,000 ton) reduction of total CO2 emission, by all operating ForSea ferries, 2020 compared to base year 2016.
- Reduction of total CO2 emission by 37,000 ton since 2018.
- At full battery operation, Aurora and Tycho Brahe, will reduce the total CO2 emission by ForSea by 65% (23,000 ton yearly).
- Aurora sails on 99% electricity.
- Only green renewable energy (with the highest classification) is used when charging the batteries.
The Helsingør-Helsingborg ferry service is the region’s floating bridge and consists of five ferries, Aurora, Tycho Brahe, Hamlet, Mercandia IV and Mercandia VIII, all of which are environmentally friendly and equipped with catalytic converters. Aurora and Tycho Brahe have both also been converted to battery-powered operation for a total investment cost of approximately SEK 300 million. INEA, an executive agency for innovation and networks within the EU, has allocated approximately SEK 120 million to support the investment.
In 2019 ForSea carried 7,0 million passengers and 1.3 million cars, 440 000 trucks and 16 000 buses and coaches – 20% of the total number of vehicles crossing Öresund in 2019. This traffic promotes integration and growth in the Öresund Region and is managed by a staff of 600 dedicated professionals, working every day to ensure that users have access to safe, efficient connections between Sweden and Denmark that make every journey as convenient and comfortable as possible., and reduce CO2 emission by 65% vs. normal operation without batteries. The crossing also helps to create a further 2,000 job opportunities in the region. Kristian Durhuus is CEO of ForSea AB, which is owned by investment specialist First Sentier Investors.
 Total amount of crossings by Öresund Bridge and Helsingborg-Helsingör route by ForSea