A sustainable ferry route

ForSea operates a sustainable ferry route, deploying state-of-the art technology to lessen the impact on the environment, while constantly striving to strengthen regional integration around Øresund. ForSea is certified in environmental management in accordance with the ISO 14001:2015 standard.

From 2007, the ferries on the route were the first to comply with SECA emission rules, which became mandatory in 2015. In addition, the group continuously works to reduce CO2 emissions and reduce the ferry operations’ impact on the marine environment to the benefit of the Øresund region. ForSea has initiated the introduction of battery operation on the two ferries Tycho Brahe and Aurora to further reduce the ferries’ environmental impact.

ForSea and the ferry route furthermore contribute to the local community on both sides of Øresund, generating jobs and supporting cultural, educational and business life.

Why is battery-operation more environmentally friendly than traditional fuels?

In diesel operations, we create our own electricity using diesel engines. As with other fossil fuels, combustion of diesel causes emissions of carbon dioxide, sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides and particles, all of which have a major impact on our environment. In battery operation, however, the batteries are charged using on-shore produced electricity instead.

Another advantage of battery operation in comparison to diesel is that the energy combustion is much lower due to the efficiency of the power. When a diesel engine generates electricity, a large amount of the energy disappears in waste heat. This waste is significantly lower in battery operation and the overall energy consumption of Aurora and Tycho Brahe is therefore 40% lower in battery operation than in diesel. A final, but just as important, benefit of battery operation is that the noise level reduces significantly when the ferries sail with electric power, which is not only a pleasure for those onboard the ferry, but for the marine life in Öresund as well.

How long to the batteries last and where are they placed on board?

It is expected that the batteries we have today will last for about five years. As battery technology is developing very quickly right now, we expect the next generation of batteries to have an even longer life span than the existing ones. Onboard there are 640 batteries with a weight of 90 kg per battery. The batteries, along with the necessary peripherals, are placed in four large containers between the chimneys on the upper deck. In total, the weight of the ship has increased by approximately 280 tons.

How long does it take to charge the batteries?

On the Danish side we will charge for 6 minutes and on the Swedish page we will charge for 9 minutes. This is enough to suffice for the journey across the strait.

What happens if the batteries cannot be charged or if the electricity runs out?

If, for some reason, we cannot charge the batteries, the vessel can be run with either hybrid or diesel operation. All machines are left onboard and if the batteries are empty or partially emptied, we can either switch to diesel again or we can operate in hybrid mode, meaning a combination of diesel and battery power. The batteries can also be recharged using the ship's own diesel engines.

How much energy is charged at each opportunity?

Each trip consumes approximately 1,175 kWh, which is nearly the same amount a residential home consumes in a month. In each port is a tower with a robot arm that connects the charging cable automatically every time the ship comes to the dock. The system charges 10.5 kV, 600Amp and 10.5MW. The batteries have a total capacity of 4,160 kWh, which means that we always have a surplus of electricity if for some reason we cannot load during a stop or if the transit takes more time than usual.

What has been the cost of converting the vessels to battery operation?

The entire project has been budgeted to 300 MSEK. The EU has contributed 120 MSEK and the money comes from the "European Union Fund", which is co-financed by the European Union.


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